contests, Writing Life

I like to win when I lose

Lobster Sushi
Lobster Sushi

We’ve all been there. The loser spot.

Getting there is easy. Getting out of there…not so much.

But to my mind, a key part of living a full and happy life is finding the good in every experience. Turn a loss into a win? Uh-huh.

I know. I know. I’m sounding cliche. I almost stopped myself from writing this post, but then I thought–what the heck. If even one reader out there is feeling crappy because they just landed on their ass in the loser box and I can make them feel better, it’s worth saying my piece. So here is my attempt at giving encouragement.

As my regular readers know I enter writing contests to get my work out there and to garner feedback. When I final it feels great. Let’s call that a win. When I don’t, I lick my wounds.

In looking over my wins and losses in this arena I recognize that in many cases I learned more from my losses than my wins. There were reasons judges scored me lower than I would have liked them to and studying their comments has vastly improved my craft. You could say that losing was the best thing that could have happened for me.

What brought this all on? I didn’t final in the Virginia RWA contest. The judges comments were almost all positive. They liked the story. So what did I learn? 1) to put a hyphen in thirty-five, 2) to not put an extra ‘ after didn’t 3) how to spell Navy SEAL and CIA properly and most importantly 4) that one of them had trouble believing a small incident. I’ve made the spelling changes and rewritten that incident to make it more believable. It was bothering me too. I call that a win.

And when I win I like to celebrate. The lobster sushi was divine.

How about you? Do you have memorable losses?

 

9 thoughts on “I like to win when I lose

  1. Sorry to hear you didn’t final. But you’re right. We probably learn more from our losses and/or failures then we do when we win or are successful. As for contests & judges, I’ve found that they’re so subjective and that the same piece can do well in one contest only to bomb in the next. But then…it’s sort of the same with readers, right? Some will love your work and other will hate it. By the way, lobster sushi is the best! On a side note, did you enter the ECO again? I did and fingers crossed, I might get to go to the conference again this year.

    Like

    1. Hi Stephanie
      I agree it’s a roller-coaster.
      Yes I did enter the ECO, but I’m not sure I can go. My fingers are crossed for you and I’m glad you’re in a different category.
      I hope you’re enjoying your trip.
      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

      Like

  2. Sorry, Jo-Ann. I agree we learn a lot from our losses, but by George they hurt! And winning is so much more fun! You know my story on contests. Same exact entry in one with an early version of my published VERMONT ESCAPE both finaled and crapped out, if you’ll pardon the expression. Do we need to get rid of as many grammar erros as possible? Sure. Does our story need to make sense? I’d say yes. Others maybe not. Remember, bottom line: contests are subjective. And readers themselves are all over the map. Take it all with a grain of salt. You’ll get there.

    Like

    1. Hi Marsha
      Thanks. You’re always so straight shooting and encouraging. You make me even more excited to visit Texas!
      I am ploughing along in the second book of my trilogy.
      And enjoying your book in the evenings.
      Best always
      Jo-Ann

      Like

  3. We may learn more from our losses but I’ll bet we enjoy the successes more! And the lobster sushi is making even me – a certified non-sushi lover want to give it a try.

    Like

    1. Hi Pat
      So true.
      The sushi is from Nori’s near Costco. It has strips of mango on top and is to die for. Next time you’re in town we should consider going.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann
      who’s hoping your medical thriller won’t keep me up at night.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s