Of all the stories we tell, none matter more than the ones we tell ourselves. I choose to tell myself stories that drive me forward; if that smacks of Seth Godin, it's just because I read him every day. I've told myself that you can't win a contest you don't enter while also telling myself that I probably won't win even if I do enter. Both of those were the stories I needed to hear inside my head to keep my non-mandatory but yet non-optional writing endeavor moving forward. I know all too well that my creativity requires me to balance on the razor's edge between confidence and despair.
Today I stopped having to convince myself that I probably won't win. I got the emails declining my last short story and last poem, removing all doubt and possibility.
Now I choose to tell myself that at least I made it this far, that those two works must have survived many rounds of cuts. After all, my submissions I didn't think as much of were rejected plenty quick, and there were hundreds of submissions to reject in the process of winnowing down the possibilities. If I had two submissions under consideration until the very end, I must be doing something right. I must be improving.
This is the story I choose to tell myself. It's the story that keeps me blogging almost every day, the story that keeps me revising old work and creating new work.
That's the story I tell myself so that I can tell my other stories to strangers.