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Writing is hard. Being a writer is hard. You can come up with a story idea that you love, work on it forever, and there's no guarantee that it'll turn out the way you want it to, much less turn out halfway decent. It can be frustrating and disappointing, and it can feel like you'll never get the hang of it, because with each story it's like you're learning how to write all over again. Sometimes you feel like maybe it's more trouble than it's worth.
Then you get an email saying your story's been longlisted in a contest, and suddenly everything's sunshine and daisies again. It doesn't even matter if you get shortlisted or if you win, because getting longlisted is progress, and as long as there's progress, you know you can keep going. Because not only is writing hard, it's also one hell of a slog.
But you love it anyway.