A couple weeks ago, I participated in a local short-fiction contest. The prompt they gave was to write a new story for an old song in 500 words or less.
I chose the song “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes, and wrote the same scenario from the point of view of the woman. I had SUCH A BALL writing it! It was silly and frothy, and completely different from almost everything else I’ve ever written.
It was fun to watch recognition dawn on the faces of the audience members as they realized what song I was working from and where the whole thing was headed. They laughed at the right places, and all in all I felt it was a very successful toe-dip into the waters of fiction for me.
At the end of the evening, they handed out first, second, and third place awards. I received second place, including a gift certificate and a mention in the newspaper (hello weird placing my own name and picture on the page of the newspaper…)
Every time it happens I smile and accept the congratulations, but inside I’m thinking, “Really? It’s not that big a deal. It’s not like I won a major prize at a major contest. It was just a piddly little town thing.”
And then came the slap upside the head. Because isn’t this another aspect of exactly what I wrote about last week in “Calling bullsh*t on myself“? In that post, I talked about comparing my accomplishments to those of my colleagues. This is about comparing my accomplishments to some fictional version of my own perfect accomplishment.
Entering this contest was a BIG step for me. I share my non-fiction writing all the time, but writing and sharing a fanciful piece is way outside my comfort zone. Doesn’t that deserve celebration?
On my first time out of the gate, I did it well enough to be recognized by the judges. Doesn’t that deserve celebration?
I got mentioned in the newspaper I write for by doing it. Doesn’t that deserve celebration?
And, perhaps most exciting, I earned a gift certificate so that I could purchase a book I’ve been wanting to read. Doesn’t that deserve celebration?
Why was I bypassing all the celebrations in order to downplay the entire experience??
Habit. Pure and simple.
So once again, I’m calling bullshit on myself and saying NOT TODAY. Today I am stepping fully into celebrating the step I took and the good that came of it.
Because if I don’t, who will?!?
What about you?
What accomplishments have you been downplaying that deserve celebration?
I’ll be the guest teacher tomorrow night (Tuesday) on Peggy Nolan’s “Be Your Best Self”!! Peggy is an incredible woman I met a couple years ago when I was working on a concept for a new program. In fact, I wrote about our meeting on one of my favorite EVER blog posts, “Who is deserving?”
Peggy has graciously invited me to spend about 40 minutes talking about my theory of the “stinky pile of poo” (which is – hint hint – the subject of the book I’m working on!)
To get on the FREE call, click here to sign up. Please join us!!!
And here’s a fun little sneak peek into the Stinky Pile Of Poo…