Yes, I really struggled with disappointment, especially when I like what I've written (and it's vulnerable/personal) or if others have expressed their approval of it. I find it a double blow that the results come twice, first the top 5 end EC's and then top 15 and top 40 overall. I get through the first disappointment by thinking "oh, well, maybe I'll make top 40," then I feel even worse when I don't.
But a couple of things on this that I'm starting to learn slowly:
1. Initially I was very focused on where I placed. Now that I've gotten to know more people on the site, I really enjoy seeing them place well too. Also I used to read the other articles just to see how they compared to mine
, but now I'm reading them to ENJOY them and LEARN something from them.
2. Something that really helped me for one article that I was very disappointed not to place in, was getting a feedback rating service from Deb. What I saw there was that my article was very well liked by the judges (I even got several "excellent" ratings from one of them). If it had been an exam I would have had over 80%, yet it only ranked 65th overall. Well that helped me to see that just because I didn't place, doesn't mean my writing was poor or that they didn't appreciate it.
3. For myself I feel that some of these negative emotions reflect pride, and God is very much dealing with that in my life. This "pain" has been a wonderful tool in His hands, and I am grateful for it.