After something that has been pretty blog-consuming over the last month or two I wanted to jot down some feelings I’ve had throughout the entire competition.
First and foremost – a HUGE thank you to Ian at Adventure Rules for dreaming up the perfect competition. His creativity knows no bounds, his pictures have been spectacular, and his enthusiasm really caught us up in his excitement. The work and effort that went into something as big as this cannot be understated and we all owe him a lot of gratitude for pushing us outside our comfort zones.
Secondly – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the other competitors in the Blitz. It’s been so fun to get immersed in a community and really feel the encouragement and support of everyone. The stories and writing have truly inspired me and I’ve learned so much from what they’ve done. It’s been a blast to trash talk or encourage by turns and exciting to see how creative everyone is. I’ll really miss the constant interaction that this experience has brought.
Third – A competition would be nothing without our judges and it feels like these one’s have really upped the bar on blogging competitions! Their insight, interest, and extensive knowledge have really broken down these entries in a way I’m surprised at. They took their duties very seriously and it’s been impressive to read their logic on announcement days AKA Fridays. What a task and we were lucky enough to find people worthy of it!
Fourth – I’ve always known how much Link means to me and what he’s helped me get through in my life, but it’s nice to be able to revisit him in so much detail and really express my love for the Legend of Zelda series. And it’s strengthened my resolve and determination to 100% BotW, which is no small feat!
And lastly – I want to talk a bit about my journey through this process. Each time I’ve won I’ve been surprised. Once I read the competitor’s entry I am confident I don’t stand a chance of winning. Luna’s entry on the Joker was clever and so well-written. She really knows that character and her details really blew me away. And then came Luke’s moving story about Claire and her heart-wrenching decision. Each Friday, when I read the results, I felt like there had been some kind of mistake. There was no way I actually beat those guys. And frankly, despite making it to the finals, I still feel a little like my place here is a fluke. I may have gotten one or two elements better, but their entries were so inspired I just don’t feel worthy of winning. It’s been a learning process for me to accept the idea that I may have done something right. I’ve had to learn to accept my advancement and have tried to come to terms with my place in the final. I’ve never had a lot of self-confidence and I’m more used to making excuses for why my thing “got lucky” than accepting the fact that it might actually be good. So along this journey I’ve been trying to accept the idea that what I created may have actually had merit. It may have actually been a worthy entry. And that’s where I’ve grown. I’ve grown as a writer, of course, but I’ve grown emotionally and mentally, as well.
So Ian, judges, and fellow challengers, thank you. Thank you for teaching me and encouraging me. Thank you for the confidence boost this has been and for the community you’ve given me when I’ve definitely needed it. No matter who wins the competition tomorrow it doesn’t matter – because I’m definitely the real winner because of all of you.