Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cloud Nine


My life has been composed of ups and downs lately. Way ups and deep downs. But tonight was definitely a way up.

When we were at the workshop with Jan Phillips, she told us that when we want something, we should picture ourselves already having it. What would our emotions be? What would having it satisfy in us? The type of visualization that is popular today.

A few weeks ago I submitted a short piece to a contest at my local bookstore, Quail Ridge Books. The theme was a high school reunion, and author Elizabeth Berg was going to judge the entries and read the winner when she came to promote her new book. I felt that my story was a winner, as good as anything I had ever written. So I decided to try out Jan's theory.

I started imagining Berg saying the title of my story. I thought about how excited I would feel, proud, and affirmed. Every time I pictured the moment, I grinned. And today I realized that even if I didn't win, that the imagining had brought a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure to me.

At the store, the third place and second place were announced. Then Rene, the events coordinator at the store, said that Berg had had problems with her voice and was not going to be able to read the winner's story, so the winner would have to read it. She fumbled around, trying to find the entry, realizing that the winner would not have brought a copy. The tension was high in the room, and I called out that it was worse than American Idol. Finally, she had the paper in her hand and read the title of my story. And all the emotions that I had felt thinking about that moment were magnified ten-fold.

I almost choked and cried reading the story in front of the crowd of over 60 people. What an exciting night, and I got to live through it several times, thanks to Jan's suggestion. I'm on cloud nine.

4 comments:

Fumbling confidence said...

Mamie,
Congratulations. I can only imagine the excitement, disbelief and awe you felt. (And Elizabeth Berg???) Enjoy it.. Keep on..

Angie

kenju said...

Congratulations!! You must have been ecstatic - and you deserve it.

Virginia S. Wood, PsyD said...

Envisioning your goals (and the steps to them) is important for keeping your motivation going, and sometimes (like in sports) to actually doing the job right. Just as one example, if you imagine yourself writing a couple of hours a day in a specific time or place, you are more likely to do it.

It is also true that you are highly unlikely to accomplish something that you don't believe in. The trouble I have with the theory that you draw good things toward you by your thoughts is its evil twin: that people who are ill, or poor, or whatever must have somehow drawn that to themselves. And that if they'd just give up that goshdarn negative thinking, they could get rid of their cancer or keep their mortgage! So it's your own fault if you're unhappy!!

That said, congratulations. Your story has arrived in my e-mail box and I'm looking forward to some good reading with a cup of tea this afternoon.

Just remember, you won because Ms. Berg thought yours was the best story. And she thought it was the best story because you wrote up a storm when you were doing it. You didn't imagine this into existence, you wrote it into existence! Way to go, you.

Greta said...

How wonderful! Congratulations! I'm going to try that the next applicable opportunity.