Exciting Times Call For Scary Measures

If you read my previous post, you know that I have a submission deadline tonight for the Flash Fiction Contest! That said, because I am writing this, I have submitted my story. And let me tell you, it is a different feeling than I typically feel when submitting work.

Usually submission is followed by relief. This submission, however, is followed by an almost unbearable concoction of excitement, anxiety, and worry. How will it do? Despite this being a non-elimination round, I still feel the pressure. If I do well this round, there will be a better chance that I do well overall and make it to the 3rd round. If I don’t do well, I’ll have to do better next time in order to have a chance.

As I think about this chance, this opportunity, I feel my heart rate increasing. This is the first time I will have my creative work critiqued. However, today was the first day I have ever shared that creative work with friends for their thoughts. Some suggestions were handled better than others in my mind. My initial reaction to edit suggestions was a moment of despair as I saw the google doc fill with comments. Is it really that bad?

One suggestion was a change to a core element of my story. A change I found too daunting to try so late in the weekend. That suggestion still haunts me as something that, perhaps, I should have changed from the beginning.

Many suggestions were constructive. They helped provide insight as to what questions a reader would have, and what details to add. The word count limit made it difficult to take all of them into consideration. Somehow, I seemed to manage.

As I have mentioned before, I was worried about editing this piece to death like I did my self-validation letter. I think it helped that I had other work to do today, and that I had friends providing me suggestions. The suggestions kind of gave me a guideline to stick to, and allow me to see a foreseeable end to the editing madness. The madness was perpetuated by the word count limit, but I eventually reeled that in to. My final word count is 995 words. Just 5 shy from the limit! A part of me wanted to see if I could add 5 productive words to make it an even 1,000, but I squashed that idea.

So, I submitted it. It’s done. It will officially be out of my hands in about 40 minutes. The concoction of excitement, anxiety, and worry is all a result of the fear that I have about this endeavor. This fear is the source of growth. I truly believe that this contest will help me grow.

It’s amazing how humans can feel dialectics. Simultaneously not being able to wait for the results, but at the same time, feeling like you could wait an eternity so as to never know. The difference between knowledge is power, and ignorance is bliss. Power or bliss? Which do I want? Which do you want?

So, with that, I’m going to get much sleep in preparation to finish out my blogging program with as much gusto as I can muster. I intend to actually post some more scary things before the end! Stay tuned!

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