The Art of Losing

Published August 7, 2012 by Ms. Nine


“Diana, look. The potato sack race is starting. Get in line, quick!” her mother urged.

Too shy, Diana wilted at the thought of joining in anything, especially competitive activities.

“Go on, you can do it. You could win, you know. You’re tall and long-legged,” she coaxed.

“Mom, do I have to?”

“I want you to try. Yes, you have to.”

Her mother’s trump card played, Diana had no choice but to comply.

The contestants lined up at the starting line, ears pinned for the ready-set-pop of a cap gun-go.

She heard the crowd cheering the contestants on, her mother’s voice louder than the rest, “Come on! Come on! Jump, Diana, keep jumping!”

Hey, Mom’s right! Look at me! I’m ahead! Gripping the potato sack and bouncing to mid field, she glanced back at the others.  I’m far ahead!

Diana, transfixed by the finish line in front of her, tripped and fell, her face inches away from the red tape taut on the field.

“Get up! Get up! You can win!” her mother screamed.

Diana stared at the tape. If she stuck out her tongue, she could lick it. She imagined it would taste like a strawberry lollipop. Unfortunately, her feet, not her tongue had to cross that line.  She couldn’t move them until the announcer shouted, “And the winner is….”

Not her.

I’m this close to finishing my wip.  Why can’t I reach the finish line?

Thanks for stopping by!


27 comments on “The Art of Losing

  • I always hated competitions as a child, maybe because losing was too unbearable. Now, as a much older adult, I don’t really care. I just live my life as a teacher and a man the best I can, Somebody said: “it’s not the end of the trip that counts, it’s the journey.” I agree

  • One step at a time. Not to worry. Spend time daily working on the wip and eventually you will cross the finish line. Then you get to join the next race for the attention of readers.

    It’s pretty much an unwritten rule that we never have as much time as we want to work on a wip.


      • It is sometimes overwhelming. I had to leave it aside a few times, just to be able to continue. I had to read the story so many times now, that I am not sure how it sounds.. hehe. But this process is also teaching me patience, endurance and perseverance.

        Also, I took those breaks (from the novel) to write my blog, read articles and write a short story, and was able to publish it for free.

        So, for me, not getting to the end so quickly was the best thing ever. I am not only writing my second short story, but I know all this is helping me become a better writer and hopefully it will reflect on my novel.

        Thanks for asking. 😀
        Good luck!

  • Hi Ms. Nine,
    I think we struggle with our wips because what do you do when it’s done? If I am right in thinking this is just the first draft, there is unfortunately more to-do! However, I think the reason that most of us battle with those two little words “The End” is because secretly we want “our darlings” to stay with us just a little longer. Good luck, I know you’ll get there!

    • You’re so right. First drafts aren’t worth a flip. Writing them is the easy part. It’s a chunk of wood with a rudimentary shape. It still needs a chisel and lots of sand paper before a “finish” can be applied.
      Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate your advice.

  • If you’ve been working on this WIP for a while, maybe you’re bored with it, or a new idea has sparked your interest. Or maybe there’s something with the ending that’s hanging in the back of your mind that needs addressed. Or maybe it’s just a hot summer and you need to relax a little 🙂 I know you’ll finish it when you’re ready. Good luck!

          • Sometimes, as difficult as it is, you just have to push through and DO IT. Get something down on paper. You can always fix it later if it needs fixing.

            I always feel that way in school. Towards the end of the term, especially at the end of the whole school year, it’s like I get to a saturation point where I just want to STOP and never look at any of the material ever again. But that’s not really going to turn out well.

            Maybe try giving yourself a deadline? Like, say, you want to be done with this draft by the end of the month so you can then start revisiting, something like that.

            Keep us posted! I really want to read it.

            Oh! BTW, I nominated you for the Leibster Blog Award!

            • Thanks for the nomination. I am honored.
              My wip…Emilia, so glad you’re with me on this. Your words are encouraging. I started writing a journal though the eyes of my protag. He and I are working together. Maybe we’ll reach the finish line in the three-legged race.
              Thanks so much for your comment.

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