Beauty and the Beast is perhaps my favourite fairy tale. When I saw the contest hosted by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, my mind started racing with ideas.
However, I've struggled with a lot of things in the past few years--whispers that I'm not good enough, not original enough. That what I have is, in the end, not genuine. That I'm merely a copycat, that what I want to give to the world has already been done. That my voice, whatever it may be, shouldn't be shared because it has nothing new to give. I worried so much about being too much like others that, in the end, I couldn't find myself as a writer.
And in the end, I pounded out a story just because I couldn't let those whispers win--because if I didn't write something, I would indeed feel like a fraud. All the ideas I'd dreamed of earlier withered because I felt they were not original enough, and by the time I'd found the confidence to commit to one despite those whispers, I almost didn't finish it.
Obviously, the story I did end up writing did not win the contest. But I received a different kind of victory. A victory over the devil's lies, a victory over a plague of anxiety that has haunted me for months. And while the anxiety still lingers (and perhaps always will), I know myself again.
I am a writer.
And I will never stop writing--despite disappointment, despite desperation, despite the devil. To spite the devil.