Failure, struggle and a tiny thought!

  [Dear Ma’m,

Thank you for your participation in our Writing Competition.

The overwhelming response to our contest resulted in thousands of entries from amateur and professional authors alike. We’ve spent an enormous number of hours reviewing all the entries, and narrowing those thousands to double digits has been no easy task. 

Unfortunately, we’re sorry to inform you that your entry is no longer being considered for a prize.

We sincerely hope you will ‘try again’!]

When you receive a letter like the above, you are gripped with an enormous sense of failure. All that months of brainstorming, effort, struggle and persistence ends up in a huge cipher. And then tormenting questions start spinning your head – Am I not good enough? Where do I lack? Perhaps, my works should be thrown in a garbage can? Should I quit writing? They no longer appreciate works like mine… Thoughts like these go on and on as you go about your daily chores. The letter crashes your expectation and self worth in a moment!

At first, the words ‘try again’ in the rejection letter sounds downright condescending. It seems organisers are patting the back of a dejected child, who is on the verge of tears. You think – “Have I not tried enough? I neglected sleep, appetite and everything that mattered to create something unique. And my work is mundane for them, my creativity has no acceptance.” You feel your struggle came to naught. You believe you are a loser for this is not the first time you have been rejected.

And then, from a tiny corner of your mind, emerges a beloved and luminous thought angel. “It wasn’t about winning, it was all about trying your best.” You remember hearing your child chant that sentence just a couple of days back. It is from his favourite story book. Everytime he comes across this line, he demands an explanation. And you like a doting mother, explain it to him.

This thought chastises and shakes you to sit upright. You no longer look grumpy and slumped. You think – “Why did I forget the meaning of the line when it became relevant in real life? Is it one thing to lecture a child and another thing to incorporate in real life?

You smile pleasantly as you repeat to yourself – “It wasn’t about winning, it was all about trying my best”. 

One happy thought defeats dejection. The thought of quitting no longer plagues your mind. You know, you cannot let down your creativity. Winning or no winning, appreciation or no appreciation, applause or no applause… you will try to create like the everflowing murmuring  ‘Brook’ ( Alfred Lord Tennyson). “Men may come and men may go but I go on forever”. Victory is transient, creativity is not!

You once again gear up to take up another challenge… just for the heck of it. Who thinks about failure as long as you are creating! Indeed, life is not about winning, it is all about trying your best! The rejection letter is forgotten.

31 thoughts on “Failure, struggle and a tiny thought!

    1. Thank you dear ever positive Ritu. Yes, taking part counts… However, on some days, the thought of failure becomes predominant. But one needs to be on guard against such plaguing thoughts😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Victory is transient, it’s true. A mentor of mine told me never hang on to past glory. Some people get stunted by affirmation and others are catapulted to new heights when they hear “no.” Cultivate your inner rebel and keep that creative engine humming.


    1. Such wonderful words PJ. This happened a while back. Ordinarily, I do not get affected, but this time I felt bad because I had high hopes. But as you said positive attitude is the ultimate winner😀


      1. When I read it Shivangi, I didn’t know if you experienced it or not until I read some of the comments. But the first thing that came into my mind was the winner – I’m sure that person had lots of rejection letters at some point before he/she finally won a challenge. I loved what you said about your little son. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. deepak nagpal

    Very well said fren… If everybody could win, there will be no challenge left to take part in. Life’s second name is failure, as victories are moments when we rise above ourselves to achieve something dear to us. The mantra is – keep trying, as the fun of life is in losing and then winning – that brings enormous satisfaction! Stay blessed and keep shining…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful words fren… Yes, the mantra is to keep trying and not get bothered by failures! I hope someday enormous satisfaction come my way too… Till then, life is all about trying my best😀😀😀


  3. I like this message on so many levels. Creativity is not lost, while victory is momentary. As a matter of fact, I feel such negative feedback should serve as a propeller for the participant to forge ahead and prove differently. Of course it’s not so easy to accept, but we must keep that at the back of our minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. WISE and positive, read and enjoy….. or they simply……don’t read.

    It is only the people who are “otherwise” who read and “JUDGE”.

    I don’t waste my time on these “otherwise” and I suggest you also don’t !!

    The reason is simple and basic : Being “judgmental” is being “mental” ( Judge+mental ) !!

    Liked by 1 person

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