The Taste of Disappointment
It’s so easy to use blogging and facebook to share only successes and triumphs. In some ways, they give a skewed view of life. Only good things happen. Trails of glory follow in our wake. Life is an unending list of 🙂 😉 🙂 😉
Of course, we know failure and disappointment. We’ve all met them along the way – they’re success and triumph’s evil twins after all, and we’ve all been victims of the hurt and bitterness they like to inflict. But it’s so much easier not to acknowledge them. To keep them locked in the cupboard. Only allow them out when they’ve promised to behave and smile like success and triumph.
But I thought I’d share a failure with you. Let the monster out of the cupboard and hope the light will shrivel it.
Okay – it’s not a huge failure. Nothing awful happened. Nobody died – as they say. But I failed where I longed for success and the disappointment hurts. Get on with it I can hear you saying. Just say what’s happened and then we can all get back to happyland.
So, I heard yesterday evening that my flash-fiction ‘Errol’s Eyebrows’ is not one of the ten winners in the Fish Publishing flash competition. It reached the shortlist (and yes, I know that’s a great achievement) but that gave me hope it might, just might, be one of the winners.
I’ve wanted to be successful in a Fish competition for a long time. They run short story, poetry and, now flash fiction, competitions every year, and they are big and prestigious with thousands of entries from all over the world. The prize money is huge and the winners are invited to the West Cork Literary Festival in July, as well as being published in the anthology. Three of my short stories have previously reached the longlist with Fish, but with Errol and his wretched eyebrows, I had a glimpse of fulfilling my dream.
Then, yesterday, I received the email – you didn’t make it.
End of … but not quite!
I also wanted to share with you the email correspondence I’ve had with Clem Cairns, the manager and editor at Fish Publishing:
Erroll’s Eyebrows didn’t make it to the last ten. Sorry. Just got the results half an hour ago. Clem
Thanks for letting me know. I’m very disappointed, but nice to have the dream for a short time! Lindsay
Tis a bloody tough choice being a writer. My heart goes out to you. Just as it is lovely, and rewarding, telling (the few) writers that their work has made it, it is equally awful telling the ones who didn’t make it. Please don’t be discouraged, but keep trying and hopefully enjoying it. Clem
Have to say, you are one of the relatively few people who have made me feel OK for giving them bad news. Thanks. Its big of you. Clem