My intention for 2022 was to tell more stories. Actually, my intention since 2020 has been to tell more stories, to write my own stories. The intention to tell my stories was multifaceted. I knew it would lead to more healing. I knew it would lead to more of my voice.
I did not realize it could and would take me back home, back to myself. In the early fall of 2022, I got there.
Deadlines make the writing go round
Journalism is my training. If you give me two weeks to write a piece, I would get started two days before the deadline. Well, I surprised myself! For the Women on Writing Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest for quarter 4 of 2022, I spent two months working on it and submitted it a month ahead of the deadline. Unfortunately, the judges disqualified my essay because I was not within the required word count—799 words above it to be exact. Not sure how I overlooked that detail, but regardless, the editor critique stated my essay was “gorgeous writing” and to re-submit in the next quarter but under word count. I volleyed several rounds in my head if I would re-submit. Then, true to my training I made a decision—two days before the deadline—to revise my essay and re-enter the contest.
Those who can, can for themselves
In case you don’t know me well, LaToyaWrites is my authorpreneur business, in which I offer editing services. I think I’m great at editing other authors’ work. But could I edit my own work well? Would my essay still be “gorgeous writing” once I chopped 799 words? I did doubt myself. I also kept telling myself, “I can do this.” I scrutinized each word, sentence, and literary element. Did it make sense? Was it clear? Is my voice coming through? Am I still writing for me? Is this still my story? After 48 hours of back and forth, I felt satisfied with my work. The essay, now 986 words, checked off all my boxes. So, I hit the submit button, again.
The results are coming in…
Also, I am in the top 10 of the finalists! It feels like win after win. Seeing my own writing through to completion is a victory. So, every moment after that is another victory. Come celebrate with me …
As I wait for the final results of the contest, I wanted to share my story with you. Thank you for reading!