Got a free coffee at Starbucks today--barista said it was because I had to wait two minutes for the new pot to finish brewing--so I figured this was as good a day as any to start my writing-journey blog.
What does free coffee have to do with blogging? Nothing, really. But if I can use any excuse to not go to the gym/clean up my desk/write, I can certainly use any excuse to do something productive. (Yes, even as I write the word "productive" I am aware of the possibility that blogging can become yet another procrastination device, but at least I'll be writing.)
Last night I got a phone call from a contest coordinator telling me my middle-grade novel is a finalist. I was thrilled. I did have to remind myself, however, that I should not get disappointed if I don't place first. I know, I know, it sounds so obnoxious and prideful, to want to win, but after the initial high that comes from knowing your work is a finalist, hearing "you've won second!" just doesn't carry as much excitement. This I know from experience. About a month ago, I found out the same novel had made it into the final round of a different contest. It was a completely unexpected and very pleasant surprise. But when I got the phone call a few weeks later that told me I'd won second place, my daughter squealed in delight, my son jumped around, my husband beamed, but I felt...disappointed.
I wish I could feel happier but what I feel is perhaps not that far from happiness: gratitude. I am grateful for the validation, the feedback from fresh eyes, and the chance to have my work read by editors. "Winning second place" sounds more cluttered than "winning" in a query letter, but I"ll take it and be thankful that I get to put anything down at all.
After all, I could win this next one. Or even better, get a request for the complete manuscript! (I have to say, though, crossed fingers are not conducive to any kind of normal living.)
Back to the reason I decided this would be the day to start blogging: I just remembered Starbucks does have its literary ties, so it's not as far off as it seems after all.