Social Book Week

From Elation to Depression in 560 Characters

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I am too disappointed today.

And I’m not using the modern version of “too” which seems to means “very”. I mean I am more disappointed than I should be and I can see the clouds of depression rolling in. Which is stupid.

I know it’s stupid and although that doesn’t relieve the disappointment it might, just might, help me keep things in perspective. As writing this moaning post might…

“Why are you disappointed?” I hear my zeros of fans cry. “Have you had some terrible news?”

“Yes.” I moan. “I haven’t been shortlisted for a competition I entered.”

“Which competition was this?”

“I’m glad you asked… It was the Write-a-thon for Nibfest. I had to write 5000 words using a prescribed opening line as my starting point. Which I did and was really pleased with my effort.”

“Oooooo.” Nobody says. “Well that doesn’t sound fair. You should’ve automatically won…”

“It’s not fair! And I worked myself into a froth of excitement by reading too much into the tweets leading up to the announcement of the result. Especially this one:”

There was obviously more than one time bending story entered...
There was obviously more than one time bending story entered…

“Ooooo. That bit where it says “time-bending fantasy” could be talking about your story.”

“I know!”

That’s exactly what I thought. And I congratulated myself on impressing the judges with my talent and daydreamed my way all the way to winning the lunch. And securing Laetitia Rutherford as my agent. And getting a book deal. And buying an island…

Then we went and saw Godzilla at the cinema… And even that 300 metre monster could not stop me thinking about the lunch I’d won.

I’d turned my phone off for the cinema. I managed to wait at least four seconds between the credits rolling and checking Twitter for any more updates. And then, slowly, over the course of three tweets, my absolute elation dissolved into abject disbelief.

The story of my happiness ground into dust
The story of my happiness ground into dust – but good news (I suppose) for 7 other people

So, heartfelt congratulations to @FinlaysonPalmer, @KMcCnoo (twitter doesn’t seem to know who this is, so perhaps it’s actually a misspelling of @mythagowood – me!) @Topkitty, @EssJayBaxter, @CassieLeedham, Jenny Butler-Smith and Jack O’Donnell.

In my last post I wrote that one of the reasons for this site was “To motivate myself by transforming each rejection from a personal slight into a mere statistic.” Although this seems to be much more than a statistic I’m beginning to believe in my previous wisdom. This is, after all, only the second writing competition I’ve entered and The Writing Dead will only be the third and if I don’t win that I’ll do some more…

Perseverance is the key.

To prove that success is possible here are the thoughts of a couple of the shortlistees…

Emma Finlayson-Palmer

Cassie Leedham