Losing sucks. Everyone knows that. We all love winning; feeling that rush of adrenaline course through us when we cross that finish line in the lead. We all love winning because it validates our efforts…it tells us that yes, we are excellent at something, we are to be admired and praised. Winning feels good.
Losing on the other hand sucks…and it sucks hard. Except when it doesn’t.
Last year, I got hired on a freelance writing gig for a Christian publishing company and I wrote a couple of stories. Towards the end of the year, I found out that out of the 22 new writers, I (along with two other people) had been nominated for the 2014 Rising Star Award, to honor the best story from the new crop of writers. I was excited and quickly shared the news with 500 of my nearest and dearest facebook friends. Yay! Maybe I would (finally) win something.
Even though I was thrilled about the upcoming announcement, I wasn’t too hung up on it because I was looking forward to traveling for Christmas and spending time with my family. After 7 wonderful days in Pennsylvania, I arrived home and a little anxiety set in.
I wonder if I’ll win. Hmm…I hope I win. That would really rock.
Well…January 5th rolled around, the awards were announced and I didn’t win. I lost. And it sucked.
But then I thought…
“Hey, wait. You were one of only 3 people out of 22. Those guys don’t know you from Adam. All they know about you is your writing. They don’t know what you look like…whether you have an accent or not (I do), whether you’d win any popularity contests (I won’t).
All they know is the words they read on a few pages, and those words were compelling enough to make you stand out!”
So…after that monologue, I reconsidered my loss and decided that it wasn’t so bad. As a writer and new author, I’m encouraged and thrilled at the response to my work. It feels awesome to have a group of relative strangers evaluate my writing and deem it worthy of admiration.
So, if/when you come up a little short of gold like I did…dig deeper and find something good. Something that will propel you to a new level, so that next time, you’ll be standing right there in the winner’s circle.
Sometimes I wonder though “Who came in second?”