If I couldn’t call myself a writer before, I can now.
It was going to happen at some point. I was going to submit an idea or a story I created, and it was going to be rejected. It happens to everyone, so says people that have made it.
In December I took a shot at the Writer’s Digest Short Story Competition. I started with a disadvantage; I didn’t know it had been open for months. I was then, and still am now, learning what writing resources are out there. I got an email only days before the closing date.
So I strapped in and wrote something in a half a day and asked my wife to proof it. I edited it down and fixed some dialogue, and made sure the pieces fit the best they could. More time should have gone into it of course, but that wasn’t a luxury I had.
A story had been rattling around my brain. It didn’t seem like a feature film or a novel, so I snipped it down to 1500 words, as per the contest rules. It’s romantic, to give you a heads up, and a bit personal but not for the reasons you may think. It’s also a bit sappy, but as real as I think it should be.
6000 stories were entered, and I placed somewhere from 26th to last place. The chaser to it all, winners were to be notified by February 28th (My Birthday). When the clock struck midnight, entering March, I knew I could call it official. I wasn’t truly expecting some 11th hour miracle, but you never know I suppose.
Whatever the case is, I took this thought with me. Millions of people call themselves writers, and many more are past the point of short story contests, but for all those that haven’t made it, I can hang my hat on the fact I was a select few to be read in this contest. I’ll take what I can get.
I have to keep persuading myself, but eventually people need to read my stuff, right? Please feel free to give me any feedback you have. I’m not the best speller in the world (I’ve trained myself and have gotten better, and spell check), and I was horrible with grammar in high school, so for me this is mostly about the story. I like to use a thesaurus, but I don’t like to lace every sentence with words you have to look up. Whatever you have to say, I appreciate it either way.
Thank you, and enjoy.
Do Something Good
P.S. I now own ISmellCarrots.com. Joyous occasions!
By Matthew D. Weaver
[I’ve removed this story, because I’ve edited it and got some really good feedback on it, to the point where I’m going to submit it to a few places. Updated 8/23/2014]