Less than a year ago the director of the foundation The Forgotten Writers, Mahmoud Mansi, contacted me on this blog introducing to me his foundation, and about the competition they held under the theme “Women’s domination”. I had few months to work on a story and I had numerous of ideas in my head and a lot of methods to start writing one. I told myself I had plenty of time to write one good story. I wasn’t experienced with short stories, and I’m still not. I wanted to try and I wasn’t at all thinking about winning, I only needed to try, to start and proceed.
Few months later I realized that all I have been doing is writing few paragraphs and ideas, without any story, without anything done. As the deadline approached, I created a short story on the impulse of the moment, and decided to submit it with another short story that I had being planning for months.
Only when the deadline was upon me did I start writing. The only way to write is to force oneself to start and proceed without stop, until it’s over. If its quality isn’t as you hoped, you can proofread and edit later. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to “edit well later”: I only wrote a story, I re-read it and that was all. I submitted it, feeling unsatisfied with myself, but at least I needed (and managed)( to submit a story. It was something I needed to do. I told myself that the story I submitted (or the two stories) were only a beginning for my actual short story practice, and I needn’t worry about the results. I wanted to know the results, I was anxious, but I knew I wouldn’t be surprised to have a winning story.
Mansi, from the Forgotten Writers and the competition, has been contacting me for a while, and we have become some sort of friends. He told me that he liked one of my short stories, the one I have been working on and have failed to put into good context. He found it courageous and expressed his admiration. I thought he was just being nice, supportive and encouraging. I didn’t need a winning story to start writing and prove to myself that I can become a writer one day… If I look at the two short stories I submitted now, I wouldn’t be satisfied with my writing, I would say “I can do better than that.”, or “Who the hell wrote that? Was it me?”. If I revise my stories ten times I wouldn’t be satisfied. I suppose one should write a story, revise as much as one needs, but the original draft or the second is as good as the tenth draft, at least for that moment. There is always a time for revisions. At least that is what I understood from T.S. Eliot.
Just today he has sent me a link to the blog that has published the results of the competition and my short story is among the winners:
· Desires in Emarsa, by authoress Arwa Bisharat from Palestine :
“I have magical powers that are not appreciated at home, or in fact they are forbidden. I have gone through an awful amount of struggle in order to become the person I can be, and by coming here to Emarsa, I know I cannot go back home unless I could have control over everything.”
I must confess I didn’t see that coming. Or perhaps I did, after all, Mansi has expressed an admiration toward my story and I should be quite proud and content with the results. I thought I should be revising the short story before I publish it on my blog, but perhaps I should share it here now anyway:click here for the story
And now I suppose I should start and proceed writing more than one or two short stories and be encouraged to publish them, here on my blog or anywhere else, like my poems. And I would be delighted to hear all sorts of feedback, the good and harsh.