See, I'm not competitive in sports. I'm more the kid that's like Oh, look, there's a ball coming -- DUCK! There's no point in me being competitive at that, because the public school system doesn't acknowledge that ducking is a pretty impressive reflex and should be awarded as well. I personally would accept this trophy.
Debate, in particular, is what I tend to focus on. And guess what? I'm actually kind of good at it. I came into Junior year excited, because for the first time, I would have the ultimate edge of age.
Yeah. Funny, huh? Earlier this week my couch put me in something called Champ debate. It's more oriented toward seniors. Which means I would be among the youngest competing. For the third year in a row.
My partner and I prepared more than we ever have before. We knew the topic backward and forward. We spent hours and hours working on it, and we actually felt pretty good. I mean, we'd done well before with odds against us.
And every time something went badly, I'm just sitting there horrified. I mean, I'm supposed to be good at this. Why do I keep losing? Was there like, essence of suckage in my coffee that morning? Oh, god, I'm going to end up a failure at life and have to like, be a trophy wife or something. (You see, even in panicked states, I am indeed thinking about trophies.)
Truth time? We prepared, but we prepared for the minor leagues. We didn't think about the big stuff - what could we trick people with, how could we trap them. Plus, we went up against the best. Every single team we hit -- every single flipping team -- was in finals. Every. Single. One.
I wasn't sure whether to be amused or not.
It's depressing to lose. If it wasn't, then we wouldn't want to win so freaking badly. (Also, those trophies are sparkly. That helps too.) In writing, it's the same way. I've talked to a lot of people who queried for maybe a month or so, got nowhere, and gave up. I've read blogs where people continually lament their losses.
And yes. I get it. It hurts. You do want to give up.
Yes, it's depressing.
But your first time out, you are the underdog. If you don't prepare properly, nothing matters. Preparation alone isn't enough; you have to pour yourself completely into it, think in ways no one else has, and still, sometimes, you just don't win. You keep getting reviews, but that doesn't really matter to some people. It's still miserable. And dude, does it suck.
Guess what, though?
Next tournament, I know what I'm doing. Next time, I know the competition. Next time, I am going to get a pretty shiny trophy.
And maybe for you, when it comes to writing, you'll get that shiny trophy your next time. Even if you don't, you will eventually. You just gotta keep trying.
Seriously, I promise.
The trophies are definitely worth it.