How long has it been since you won something?
Been a long time for me, let me tell ya.
It was 1980. I was at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall in Port Dalhousie for the annual middle-school public speaking competition. On a clapboard stage for 7 long minutes I held forth on the fascinating topic of…radio!
It was a galvanizing moment, being handed that first place trophy. It gave a huge boost to my flagging teenage confidence; plus it helped launch a broadcasting career that has sustained me for 31 years.
That’s right – it’s been 31 years since I had a “win.” That’s more than 11,000 days. That’s a cool billion seconds! So you can imagine my delight this morning when I came across this:
The Cybil awards
are handed out by a shadowy cadre of book bloggers in the United States and Canada. I don’t know who they are exactly, but I have some solid leads, and as soon as this cold weather breaks I’m going to head out on an extremely long run, and stuff a pair of dry-wick running sleevies into each of their mailboxes as a thank-you gift.
It’s the least I can do. Those judges have no idea how much I needed their vote of confidence today. I’ve been struggling to finish the manuscript of what I hope will be my 2nd novel. I’m at that tragic stage where I don’t know if my story or my characters or my writing is any good, in fact I’m pretty certain that it’s all a pile of dreck.
Remember that scene in The Shining when Shelley Duvall sneaks a peek at Jack Nicholson”s huge unfinished novel?
She discovers that he’s been writing the same sentence over and over; hundreds and hundreds of pages worth.
Sometimes I’m scared to open my writing, lest I come across pages like that.
It wouldn’t surprise me a whole lot, to be honest. Writing is a crazy-making act. Someone have likened it to “getting into a knife fight with yourself in a phone booth.”
So THANK YOU judges – for reminding me that I’m not crazy. I will now stop my crying. I can do this. I shall endure.
Oh well done, so well deserved! I’m glad things are going so well for you. It’s great that you are persevering with your novels too! I’ve written two manuscripts but they are just homes to the spiders under my bed now… I never had the faith or ability or guts to really try to turn them into something (no regrets though, I loved writing them!). What I’m saying is that I think I get how and why this is the hardest part, so again – so well done. And *cough* unless my memory is failing me, didn’t you write a post about winning a local race a few months ago? 😉
thanks so much for your kind words! and yes, you caught me fair and square! full response coming momentarily…..