I've been following the blogs of several literary agents/editors/really cool people who write. It might just be the time of year, but there's a lot of contests on blogs right now. I even entered one on Nathan Bransford's blog. Write a teen diary entry. It felt pretty amazing to start out on this grand journey of writing. I sat down and composed a diary entry, loosely based on one of my own high school experiences. I lovingly went over the draft, making sure that it conveyed the sentiment I intended. I tweaked the words until it fit my idea of a high school voice. (Or at least, what I might have written at the time, had I actually written something.) I copied and pasted it into a comment and hit submit. And instantly regretted it.
Not because I think I am a bad writer. I don't. It also wasn't because I saw a spelling error just after I clicked the button. It was everything I had hoped it would be. No. I merely realized that I probably don't stand a chance.
I've checked back at the thread where diary entries are being posted in droves. The last I saw, 620 or so people had put finger to keyboard in a similar endeavor.
And many, many of them are amazing. I can't say I read every entry. There are just too many of them. I did read a lot of them and I immediately felt inadequate in my own ability.
My own little story wasn't particularly angsty or cutting edge or "troubled." It was just a girl who likes a boy. He's way out of her league and only talks to her when no one else is around. It's something very real for me, and terribly poignant.
We'll see how it goes. I can't imagine that out of 600 entries, mine will rise to the top. It's a starting place, though. I just keep having reminders of how much I have to do before I get to where I want to be. Here's to all the work ahead. Cheers!