Derren Brown has a lot to answer for. No really. Ever since that damn program he did about luck, I’ve been unable to shake the idea that playing the odds has nothing to do with a capricious female entity and everything to do with grabbing the opportunities that are presented with both hands and a lot of joie de vivre. We make our own luck. It isn’t granted or won…we earn it with a keen eye and a broad mind.
My new year’s resolution was to make this year my year. 2012 saw me publish my first book. 2013 is going to see me reaching for the stars. I was going to roll with the idea of taking every opportunity that came my way. I’ve spent too long living in a little bubble of my own making, letting things pass me by. The news that Samantha Young, who was so wonderful to me when I first started out on this journey, has signed a publishing deal with Penguin was immensely inspiring. It’s so close to home. It’s made it seem more…possible. The edge of hope is suddenly that much sharper. More cutting and yet more audacious. Higher peaks make deeper troughs.
Anyway, I had decided. This year I wasn’t going to sweat the small stuff. I was going to be joyful about the positives and take every opportunity that presented itself, without exception. No excuses, no procrastination. Every competition that comes my way will be entered without hesitation or drawback.
How jolly foolish.
It’s the second week of January and I’ve already found myself committed to two competitions. That’s the thing. Success tends to breed success. To me, my happy little journey down the publishing path has just been an extension of my long term writing. In some ways I feel like a fraud. The stories come easily to me. I don’t agonise over plotting and character development. It’s all in my head. I rarely need more than two rewrites. In many ways I don’t feel like a proper writer at all because it’s such an effortless process. I don’t know why I have it in my head that it should be an angst-ridden process, but I do. Anyway. I digress.
To my friends, the books and the subsequent glowing reviews and forays into the bestseller lists have given them an inflated sense of my abilities. They have boundless certainty that I’ll one day do this full time, that publishing houses will flock to sign up my work and that I stand a decent chance of winning any competition I put an entry to. It’s humbling. Incredibly humbling. And entirely undeserved. It also means that every time a writing competition gets advertised anywhere in the country I’m the first person they think of, so they send it straight my way.
It seems a combination of my rash self-promise and my friends’ eternal optimism is going to lead to a year full of competition entries, bitten nails and weeks of anxiety! That said, you’ve got to be in it to win it. She who dares wins and all that.
Derren Brown might have given me an insanely stupid idea and made it stick in my head but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. So…here’s to the competitions. And trying. And maybe, just maybe, becoming an astronaut lol.