As writers, we constantly seek validation that our work is any good. Today I received news that made me think mine is utter, utter tosh. I had applied for a New Writers Award from the Scottish Books Council. Had I got it, it would have made me think my work wasn't rubbish. But, I was turned down. 200 people had applied, they told me. The standard was so very high. We cannot give out any individual feedback, they said.
Rejection has hit me hard. I won't deny it, as I had sent an extract from Vile City. Then I decided to remind myself of those who had succeeded. The list of previous years' winners were listed. There was a recurring theme throughout them. Most of them had done a masters degree or even a Phd in creative writing. I have done neither. Instead I have written, without any professional qualifications and I have being selling my work for the past 23 years.
And, that's the good thing about writing. You don't need a degree to do it. Most of the top authors have just written and that is what I will continue to do. Right now it feels like someone is giving my innards a kicking and disappointment sickens me to the core. But, I will not let this finish me off. I will keep writing away and hopefully one day I might get some validation.