I've just had a disappointment - I haven't won a competition...again. I write the odd poem. I even joined a writers' group this year. And filled with the confidence that all that mutual admiration gives one, I wrote a poem for a local writing competition. I was pretty pleased with this poem and told myself that even if it got nowhere in the competition (and why should it?) I was glad to have created it.
And now the results are out and I am nowhere. That's okay, just about. But two other members of the group entered the competition and they both did get prizes. So I am feeling pretty gutted. Am I completely crap as a writer? Am I deluding myself? Maybe I should give up any pretensions to writing and grow roses instead.
I have consoled myself with the comments of the recent Man Booker non-prizewinner, Lloyd Jones, who said that he was quite glad not to have won because the prize would have been "a distraction." Nice try, Lloyd!
If that doesn't work, I'll fall back on the old consolation that the best people rarely win the prizes - for example, Gandhi and Irena Sendler never won the Nobel Peace Prize; Al Gore and Yasser Arafat did.