On being a Semi-Finalist in my favorite writers contest

Oh, so I haven’t blogged this year. So much for that resolution…
It’s not that I don’t have blog thoughts, it’s not that I don’t write them in a .doc file on my desktop called “blogs”. It’s that I don’t come here and forge them into coherent sentences.

Well, I will try, just for you dear reader. Whoever you are.

Today’s blog is a little about my writing, and reaching a place I didn’t think I would, and what it means to me.

On receiving a semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest:

I didn’t think this story had a chance. I was just hoping not to get rejected. So when I saw that calls were going out, I figured I had my result in my e-mail. When I saw the words “Congrats, you are a semi-finalist” I literally didn’t believe them.

I printed the e-mail and read the words again because that somehow made them more real, and then damnit I got all choked up. Why? Because this is the validation I’ve been waiting for. No, my first finalist didn’t do it. Not on my 3rd WotF entry, and only my 5th submission anywhere. No, not my flash fiction sales. They are great, I’m not knocking them, but I can sell an idea. I want to sell a story.

So why is yet another rejection so validating? (I still haven’t sold anything over 2K) Because A. It’s from a different judge. And B, because all those people who told me back in 2011 that I could do it again had thusfar been wrong until that moment. (Yeah, I know it’s not a finalist, but as we’ve been told and reassured, a semi is a finalist that simply didn’t fit into the top 8.)

Translation: I’m a real writer. That’s how I felt at that moment and the moments after. I felt like I’d arrived. And if anyone ever asks, that’s the moment I’ll tell them. Not after selling to X or Y, but right then. I know there are plenty of rejections to come, that’s just part of this whacky thing I do, but now I can finally believe the words I’ve heard again and again, “editor taste” not “needs improvement”.


About dustinadams

I write the wrongs.
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One Response to On being a Semi-Finalist in my favorite writers contest

  1. Congrats Dustin! I am so thrilled for you! That ‘real writer’ feeling hits us all at different times and I think it’s something that we all actually re-experience over and over again. For me, I didn’t start feeling like a ‘real writer’ until I started getting up in the mornings and daily adding to projects and finishing things to turn into different events. I am so proud of you and I am excited to see how much better and bigger you’re going to get over the years.

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