Glad you brought this subject up, Jim. I think our disappointment, frustration, etc. is only human. I, too, rush to see if I've made it . . . only to find that I have not. But, look at it this way - we still have something to strive toward!! Everyone ahead of me voiced my feelings, so I won't repeat.
I've just been so thrilled to have found FW, and really wish I had more time to spend on all the aspects of the site, but the fact of the matter is I don't right now. However, I look at the challenge as a way to hone my skills. Some weeks my entry is a rushed one. I thought I wrote my best story to date last week (Shhh) only to read it now that it's out there and find a typo! Darn I hate when that happens! I am a perfectionist and I beat myself up when things like that happen.
I don't know what the judges are looking for (is that on here somewhere), but I trust that this is where God wants me to be right now and I just keep plugging along. God led me to FW and I plan to go to the Conference and hopefully meet many of you wonderful fellow writers. I also plan to enter the Page Turner Contest because I'm writing a book and need the motivation (along with the physical stamina) to keep going. And maybe that's the win that God has in store for me!
I know I can write. I'm not good at writing humor; I'm a serious, personal essay type writer. I've had several pieces accepted for publication (and actually been paid for them
). That first one will always be the thrill of my life. . . a dream come true. However, my favorite piece (and one I hope to get on the reprint section soon) appeared in Living With Loss magazine last year and relates to the death of my mother. So many people told me how much that story helped them - validated their feelings, or gave them hope in their own relationship. THAT is what's important to me. The knowledge that I've written something that inspired, motivated or gave someone hope is, to me, priceless. I haven't done that yet with these "expression" themes, but I'm developing skills, meeting deadlines, and learning to deal with rejection. . . all part of a true writer's world.
Hang in there, every one of you! You cannot give up. That would disappoint God. He gave you a talent and "to whom much is given, much is expected." In God's eyes we are all winners and in His time we will each be rewarded with success.
Blessings to you all!