Dilly Dallying Not Encouraged. Move On.

dilly dallyI won’t front: I’m disappointed about not having one of the three posts I put up for BlogHer’s Voices of the Year chosen at a VOTY. It actually might have more to do with a little embarrassment — seeing as how I nominated them myself, which I wasn’t comfortable doing at ALL. The “you’re a reject” email came unexpectedly, and the “this email means none of your submissions were accepted” part made me humph. Lucky for me, my sister was sitting across from me and we were both tipsy, so she basically told me to get over it and congratulate the people who were picked for VOTY. (Well, duh!) But what nags me (and any other passive-aggressive-but-still-competitive person) is WHY. As in what was WRONG with my stuff?

So, in honor of yeah write’s month-long ProBlogger #31dbbb series, I’m going to do my first ever LIST post to explore why my entries weren’t among the 100 (3%) chosen from over 2600 entries. (Can I count that as my first reason? Mass?)

1. Other people wrote better posts. This is the most obvious reason, and once I looked over the list, it was pretty clear. Seeing fellow yeah writers like Erica, Megan, Christie, Cindy, and way more than I should list in a list, made that obvious. Also, my business partner, Anna, was chosen for bringing the (very) funny – which is something I never manage to pull off very well.

2. I chose posts that were important to me, and not necessarily relatable. Getting mugged at knife-point, discussing authority and stop-and-frisk with teens, and my kid’s arthritis don’t necessarily resonate with people not in my life. And none of the reviewers are people in my life. And haven’t we had enough of the white teacher/black kids stuff?

3. None of the categories worked for me. Let’s just shove humor into the farthest unreachable corner where it’s always been for me. But heart? I’m too private for that. (Although I think that’s where I stuck all three.) Inspiration? Too cynical. Op-Ed? My opinionated posts tend to be about education and guns. And haven’t we had enough of the school and shooting stuff?

4. I just didn’t care enough. As regular readers know, I’ve been a little busy with gun violence prevention activism. My blogging has slowed, and I have not been a supportive community member in the blogging community. I really only read the yeah write weekly entries any more, and I only comment on a few of those. So basically, that supportive karma (if you believe in that kind of stuff) never came around because it didn’t go around.

5. I just wasn’t good enough. It’s the whole it’s not them, it’s me thing. And I’m okay with that. (For a much more classy and polished version of that sentence, read this from one of my favoritist bloggers, Nicole Blades at Ms. Mary Mack.) And the one thing I can take comfort in is that another voice won’t be reading my words to an audience. I feel such possessiveness about my writing that I do feel relief in that.

In the end, I’ll follow my sister’s tipsy, but solid advice: Congratulations to ALL the VOTY 2013 honorees! Enjoy the moment, you deserve it! And please, don’t let it go to your head. Keep writing the good stuff.


Want to improve your blog with a bunch of awesome bloggers? There are a bunch of VOTY 2013 in there! Check out yeah write’s month-long #31dbbb series during July.


About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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56 Responses to Dilly Dallying Not Encouraged. Move On.

  1. You have a very healthy outlook on this, which I admire and shall try to learn from. I liked all the pieces you selected and I do think they are relatable to a larger audience than just people who know you. I see your point and maybe they’re not the most relatable-ist (new word!) compared to the winning posts, but well, whatever, that might not actually be helpful.

    Last year when I nominated myself, I felt that uneasy feeling too. This year someone else nominated me and I think that might have gotten my hopes up higher. Next year, if there’s a next year, I shall keep my hopes lower. Maybe. Probably not.

    I will say that the pieces I read that have been submitted were very well written and deserving of the honor. And to get to spend much of my internet time with so many talented writers (yourself included) truly is a gift.

    • 24 hours later, I can honestly say that I’m over it now. Not even disappointed. It may have to do with reading all the super-happy responses to being chosen and knowing I probably would have been all: Holy Crap I don’t know if I want my stuff OUT there. I take it all back!

      And you know you rock the cayenne off the pepper, right?

  2. iasoupmama says:

    Hey, there — I’m hoping that by hanging out with the 8 or so bloggers I know who were selected that their awesomeness will rub off on my writing. And I do feel a wee bit schmucky as I submitted my own two pieces, too. Oh well…

  3. Cindy Reed says:

    Hey y’all, I know that this isn’t helpful from someone who was chosen but last year, I was in the loser category for the three posts I submitted from me about me. You are three of the best writers on the web. Michelle – you know “Happy Drunk” was one of my favorite posts of all time. Kristin, the Spanish journey post still lingers in my mind for its lyricism and scene-setting. And Courtenay? The fiction. I can’t write it. You can.

  4. Cindy Reed says:

    Wait. Kristin, are you saying I had two posts picked? I’m totally not seeing that. (Word searching my name over and over).

  5. Good for you for submitting! Sometimes that’s more important to get your writerly juices motivated for future posts than being chosen. Keep going, you’re a good one!

  6. Laura says:

    I love your title and photo for this, first off. I love that you took the time to add so many links (although I only had time to click a couple of them). I love having lots of information so readily available on the topic I’m reading about, should I choose to accept it. And I also happen to think you are very funny. 🙂

  7. katbiggie says:

    Great list! Sorry you didn’t get chosen – you’ve got a whole year to come up with a funny post about children’s arthritis and/or gun violence! 🙂 I too am an advocate for gun violence prevention (she says as her six year old pops around the corner shooting at her with a star wars gun) and I have found it is difficult to balance blogging about issues that matter with posts that go viral. Sad, but true. I’m following you now, so I’ll come read your posts!

  8. The “you’re a reject” e-mail came so suddenly and unexpectedly that I actually ignored it at first because I thought it was just one of the billions of BlogHer e-mail I get all the time. It was kind of jarring, but I like your attitude here, and I always love reading your words.

    • Me too! But then I remembered that I had unsubscribed from the BlogHer emails, so it couldn’t be one of those. D’ya think unsubscribing had something to do with it? Hmmmm. Maybe that’s #6!

  9. Erica M says:

    I’ve been trying to come up with a set of good words you won’t take as pity as you’re over there day drinking and tweeting the challenge grid, but I’m empty. Let me just say I’ve loved and appreciated your writing since you first stumbled over yeah write. Um, okay, going back to work now. Tentatively leaving a *mwah* here in comments. Feel free to throw all kinds of shade at it.

    • When I’m in a wallow, everything is pity. And I have to admit that all I know about “throwing shade” is that it’s become quite popular when talking about Michelle Obama giving looks to people. I think I may have thrown shade last night, but it missed.

  10. mamarific says:

    Consolation hug from a fellow reject. Pass the prosecco, please! And BTW, if *real* writers like you don’t get picked, that makes little ole me feel way better 🙂

  11. Holla for the rejects! This post was SO TIMELY. I didn’t expect to win, but I was still sad to learn I hadn’t. Like you said, it’s not them, it’s me. I’m still a beginner – what did I expect, to become a prodigy/overnight sensation? Maybe a little…
    Seriously though, thank you for writing this.

  12. Hmm, I didn’t get a reject email. However, I did get a “congratulations, a post you nominated has been selected” email. But it wasn’t my post. I’m enjoying the victory vicariously.

  13. I love this post because now I feel like i’m in very good company. i was waayy bummed yesterday. waaay bummed. the only bright side i see is that i didn’t even know enough to be embarrassed that i nominated myself. except, now i do. damn. 🙂

  14. Stacie says:

    At least you submitted. I was too scared. Next year, my dear!

  15. zoe says:

    Im such a virgin I had to use google to figure out what the hell you people are all on about! Id say you got it all going on…

    • I’m your fellow virgin. I love this post and all the comments. You can’t be rejected unless you’re putting yourself out there! And so many of you are and that’s brave. I’m very happy to be in your company, and I’m always grateful that I get to read such great writing by caring, talented authors! Cheers!

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence. And I was all confused last year at submission time, too. I tried to figure out what #VOTY was, and I thought it had to do with encouraging voter registration. 🙂

  16. Shanique says:

    I’m like Zoe. I had no idea what you were talking about. You guys? gals? are way way above me. But I love this list anyways caz you take responsibility for not doing well and uh we need more of that all day everyday.

  17. It takes real nerve to submit your writing anywhere. No, let’s step back a bit more… It takes real nerve to write. Like, really write—as in sharing some of yourself, some of your secrets, some of your soft middle. Then to share that with others whose task it is to judge that piece of writing in a competition? Man, listen. That’s nerve and balls and ovaries. Congratulations to those who were picked, yes. But, also, congratulations to you, KW, for putting yourself truly “out there.” And it also takes a Grown Woman to admit that you felt a bit of a sting not getting into the slim circle of The Selected. So, as I see it, you’re kind of winning on several fronts. 🙂

    (P.S. Thanks for the s/o!)

  18. It’s always a bit disappointing to enter something and not be selected. Darn them. But it’s probably like most things — expect it when you least expect it.

  19. Karen says:

    I’m a blogging dunce. Like Zoe and Shanique, I had no idea what blogher was until a couple of days ago. For what its worth, I always enjoy reading your posts.

  20. Meh. Let it roll off your back. Only 3% of the entries were chosen. You’ll just have to try again next year. 🙂

  21. mannahattamamma says:

    Ha! I am *not* a reject…
    because I lacked the gumption even to submit a post. See how that works? And yet I still felt a sort of “waaahhh” when i wasn’t chosen. Because of course magically someone should’ve wafted from blogher heaven & whacked me with her fairy wand. Bitch.
    Lady, you ARE funny. And smart. Also? Articulate. Also? You will try again & a final also? Your work at yeahwrite brings you the equivalent of like karma sundaes with whipped creme fraiche. Next year.

  22. Melisa says:

    Your attitude is awesome! Try not to be discouraged: it definitely doesn’t mean that your writing wasn’t good enough. If every piece of great writing was chosen, the VOTY would go on for many hours. This year just wasn’t your year: keep trying!

    Social Media Researcher

    • Thanks, Melisa! I absolutely know that – and having graded many thousands of essays in a similar fashion (two or three people read each, but the entire committee doesn’t read all), I also know it often depends on which readers you get and how closely people follow a rubric (if there is one). And that’s in addition to all the other reasons I listed. I’m not writing as much in the personal anecdote vein, but I’ll definitely resubmit next year if something half-way decent comes up. I appreciate your stopping in!

  23. anna says:

    I agree with all of this, and while I like Voty as a concept, if it is one more list that some bloggers get on, and some don’t, that leaves 3% happy and 97% unhappy or meh at best, then I think it might be time for a re-think on how it’s done.

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