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The Artful Pursuit of Writing

by Cindy Calder 2 months ago in advice · updated 2 months ago
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Thank You, Vocal

OK, we’ve all been there at one time or another as a writer. You work hard – very hard – on a particular piece, and then you edit and fine-tune it time and again, until you finally post it for publication. Once your poem, commentary, short story, or even prelude to a novel has been published by Vocal, you find yourself repeatedly checking its stats, sure that the throngs of subscribers on Vocal will love your piece as much as you. As days – and then long weeks - go by, your stats change only minimally, so you try to convince yourself that not everyone has the same refined taste as you do when it comes to writing. Surely, however, Vocal in all its knowledge and glory will recognize your work's outstanding attributes and award you that long-awaited, coveted prize - or at the very least, bestow an accolade of recognition. So, you patiently wait, day after day, week after week, until the designated moment finally arrives, all too sure that your piece of work will be cited as a winner. Repeatedly throughout the day, you refresh the Vocal homepage until at long last, the list of winners appears. What? Wait a minute and hold the presses. There must be a major mistake because your piece is completely missing from the cited winners. In abject despair and disbelief, you throw yourself on the floor and cry for at least half of an hour, completely and utterly devastated. Sure, there were thousands upon thousands of entries, but everyone you know loved your piece and assured you it would be a winner, so how the world did this happen? How did you not get it right this time? You were so sure you’d written the perfect piece.

Does this sound at all familiar to you? Have you written that perfect piece of prose and submitted it to a Challenge on Vocal, only to not achieve the expected, coveted prize? Have you been filled with disappointment and had your heart broken - or am I the only one? In all honesty, this scenario has happened to me on more occasions that I care to admit. Did it hurt? Without a doubt. Did it crush my desire to write? Absolutely and emphatically not. Following each and every failure to win on Vocal, I have responded by picking myself up off the floor, and in true glamorous movie starlet fashion, I have remind myself that there’s always tomorrow and the possibility of future writing attempts. And thus, a new quest has begun thereafter as each day I once again check the Vocal homepage in search of new Challenges with a fervent hope that the next time, I will be able to produce a much better piece - something noble and enduring. Isn’t that what writing - and life - are all about? We must not become too complacent in the rituals of our everyday existence, because in the grand scheme of things, we should always strive for the stars in order to achieve the very best in all upon which we embark.

So, yes, Vocal has broken my heart on more than one occasion, but the truth is that Vocal has also taught me much in doing so: perseverance, discipline, dedication, and more importantly, a desire for finer writing skills, because with every piece I write, I am able to see improvement. I suppose, theoretically speaking, I could thank Vocal for not selecting any of my pieces as top winners, but then again, let's not get carried away. In the thread of honesty, I will instead simply thank Vocal for helping me achieve improved results each and every day in my artful pursuits of writing:

Thank you, Vocal, for teaching me much (despite my often having to nurse a broken heart along the learning curve).

"I am still learning." Michelangelo


About the author

Cindy Calder

From Charleston SC

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