Happy to report that the short story I entered for the mslexia short story competition was one of fifty that were shortlisted this year. It didn’t get placed. But given that there were over 2000 entries, and that this is mslexia we’re talking about – one of the biggest writing magazines with some of the highest standards – it’s not too shabby.
It’s not good enough, though. It’s encouraging, and tells me I’m getting closer to achieving some of my goals – but I am impatient. And competitive. I want to win. And I want it to happen NOW.
I guess the trick is to let those feelings motivate me to improve, work harder, reach more of my potential as a writer. I feel like I’m on the edge of making a leap forward, leveling up somehow, but then I’ve felt that way for a while. For a while I got frustrated about it, wondering what was holding me back, or what I was holding back from my work. But that way of thinking is too self-critical; it just makes everything harder. I prefer to think that things take the time they take. My writing will get better, but I can’t force it. All I can do is stay willing, and keep working.