My last post started out with, "Do one thing everyday that scares you." That's a pretty big goal although most days, just getting out of the house qualifies for me. I still have so many doubts: doubts about myself, my sobriety, my life...
I've been conscious, though, of doing what I want to do. Even if that scares the hell out of me. Writing is what I've always wanted to do, so in the past couple of years I've set some goals and taken some risks. And it scares me.
I wrote a fairy tale and submitted it to eight agents who all rejected it. I entered a writing contest that I wanted very much to win. The prize was $3000 and a trip to New York to meet with four editors/agents. I didn't win but I wasn't as crushed as I thought I would be. I wrote an article for a magazine which was rejected as well. This is a lot of disappointment for someone like me, but I kept moving forward and taking the risk of putting myself and my work out there. I entered another contest.
On Saturday, my work so far finally paid off. I won $5000 for an essay I wrote - the same essay, incidentally, that I submitted to the magazine. I'm now in the running to win $250,000 in January. I'm in heaven. I'm in shock. Whoever said that external validation shouldn't be important can kiss my patootie. Sure, I can sit around and write just for the pleasure of writing. Sure I can read what I've written and say, "My goodness, Kimbo, that's just wonderful!" And I do these things. I wouldn't be honest, though, if I didn't say that - at least in this case - external validation is much better than privately sitting around and stroking my own...ego.
Everything happens for a reason. I know it's cliche, but I can't help thinking that I wouldn't have achieved this without all the events leading up to this milestone. I never would have done any of this when I was using. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Here's the link if you want to read the essay. It's called "Surrender".