I was in the bottom two cut from LJ-Idol this week.
I made it to the top 50, from some rather larger number earlier, which ain't bad. My technical ranking would be 48th, if it matters.
The more important thing is that I learned a lot about myself as a writer.
I can write, and I can write well. I'm not perfect, but I'm a whole lot more confident in my abilities than I was before I started.
I never really understood the whole game/competition aspect. There are nuances and foibles and narflings that escape me like a greased penguin at a polar bear picnic. I never really treated it like anything other than a challenge to write something every week, to try and push my own boundaries a little in the process, to edge into places where I was not feeling particularly comfortable or competent.
And I know that I'm not a perfect writer. But dammit, I wrote. Every week. And some of it was even passably good, especially for one-sitting first draft stories. They've all been presented as unedited. I did spellcheck most of them, though a few things got by me from time to time.
I feel bad that I didn't make it farther. The last piece I did was the longest, the most complete, the one that I think had the most flow. It had an internal logic and structure, and used several subtextual devices to help promote the story. Primarily I feel bad that my ego didn't get stroked more.
But I'm also aware that stroking my ego isn't really always the healthiest thing for me. Done too much, it can leave callouses, or at least open sores.
I will write more. Not every week for a while. I need to pay attention to other things.