Rejected. I’ve been rejected. And guess what? It’s not the end of the world! The sky hasn’t fallen in. I didn’t spontaneously combust. My head didn’t fall off of my body.
I entered a blogging contest last month and I was sure I was going to win. I was positive when I entered my post that I was going to win! My blog post was going to be mentioned and sent out in an email to 60k people on their mailing list. It would be super successful and awesome.
Sadly, I didn’t win though. Wah! I didn’t even get an honorable mention.
At first I was like, “What? My entry is good and funny and awesome!! Everyone should love it and share it and tell their kids, parents, bestfriends, and everyone about it! I poured my heart into my post! Wasn’t that what we were supposed to do?”
Then I went and looked at some of the winning blogs. Every one of them has a slick website that was obviously put together by a professional web guru ninja master. Mine are all DIY and could probably do with a bit of a makeover, but that supposedly didn’t matter for the contest. Another thing I noticed as I started to peruse the winning blog posts was that all of the winners used one of the super guru ‘write exactly like this and your post will go viral and you will have a million readers in an hour’ formulas that is taught by the website and guru that held the contest. I thought I had done that with my post but, maybe I didn’t. Hmm….You know, back in the day, blogging was all about being yourself, not following some magic formula or planting magic beans in your posts. I guess times have changed.
So what does this mean in the big scheme of things. Am I a failure or a loser? Are my blogs doomed to languish in obscurity because I didn’t use some special magical formula, use the magic beans, drink the magic purple juice or follow some set of arbitrary rules that determine whether a blog is successful or not? Am I a terrible writer? Do I need to write my blog and do exactly everything the way that some super guru blogging expert and his merry band of followers does? What does it mean? What do I do now?
I’ll tell you what it means: Nothing. I wrote my blog. I entered it in the contest. I didn’t win. The end.
I’m not going to quit blogging or writing or learning all I can to be a better and successful writer. I’m not going to sit here all day in a puddle of tears and gorge myself on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and pizza. I’m not going to get angry and quit. I’m going to take it for exactly what it is. A call for me to keep working and learning and growing and writing and doing what I am doing because I love it.
And in the big scheme of things and vision I have for my life, losing this contest and being rejected is just a blip on the never ending story that is my life. It’s not a reflection of me or my life.
I know these things to be true, contest or no contest:
I’m a good person.
I am a good writer.
I fit my own mold, not some cookie cutter mold.
I create my life.
My life is good.
And no harm. No foul. At least I had the courage to try!
Have you ever tried something new and been rejected or entered a contest and not won? I want to hear from you. Share your stories in the comments below.