Entering contests sort of reeks of self-promotion and a big giant bobbling head. I never could understand why so many people would do it... especially when I would (very critically and superior-ally and judgement-ally) look at whatever they had made to enter the contest and think to myself, "who do they think they are? I could do better than that."
Oh my goodness. I should not admit that.
But unless you're a fat liar, you must also admit that you have looked at the decisions others have made to enter a contest and laughed at them.
Seeing someone enter a contest and then deeming that others are not very good contestants is funny. Because we know -- completely KNOW -- we could have done such a better job if only we had entered. We end up feeling all superior. And the fact that we did not, indeed, enter, proves that if we had, we would have won. Period. No need to enter the contest.
It came to me in the last few weeks that I have had this snotty attitude and I am appalled to realize it.
Since when did I begin to believe I was something superior? I never thought I was... no, I never consciously thought I was. But subconsciously, I'm not so sure. Why have I always acted so silly over someone else's decision to try things I was unwilling to try? Why so smarty-pants and know-it-all? Why such a jerk?
It came to me in the last few weeks. My friend Amy is excited to enter her photos in the local fair. We are going to frame them. She told me she always enters and it's not for the prize money ($5.00 top prize) and not for the competition, per se. She does it because it's an adventure and it's fun and it's something to look forward to. Mostly, she does it because she "just wants to."
And so, because of Amy, I thought about contests. And I thought about what entering a contest might really mean to a contestant.
When someone enters their creative endeavor into a contest, that person is vulnerable. It follows, I think, then, that that person must also be confident. They are going to risk sometimes enduring the snickers and sneers of others. They are going to risk losing. The bottom line is, they are risking baring their souls for others to simply dismiss.
Brave thing to do.
And even if you win, some are going to think your entry is the worst.
And so, because of Amy, I thought about contests some more. And I thought about what entering a contest might really mean to me.
It would mean actually doing something instead of just talking about it. It would mean risking (perceived) humiliation when people laugh at my entry. It would most likely mean losing and feeling sad even if I told myself I didn't care when I entered (which is what I always do).
And so I did it.
I entered the Cloth Paper Scissors contest called "Home Sweet Home" and I was so embarrassed and proud and, good grief, I have logged onto that site numerous times to look at all the other contestants entries and, good grief, has it ever been fun!
A picture of my little entry is posted above. And here it is on the Cloth Paper Scissors website:
If you decide you are going to rate me, I hope you aren't secretly sneering at how stupid my entry is. Believe me, this has crossed my mind!
Love to all, d.