let your Voice be heard (or, here’s to the losers)

Melissa and Lisa

Me and my longtime friend Lisa (also known as the blogging brains behind The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein)
photo taken May 2013

“Here’s the last toast of the evening,
Here’s to those who still believe
All the losers will be winners,
All the givers shall receive
Here’s to trouble-free tomorrows,
May your sorrows all be small
Here’s to the losers,
Here’s to the losers,
Here’s to the losers
Bless them all!”

“Here’s to the Losers” – written by Jack Segal and Robert Wells, sung by Frank Sinatra

My friend Lisa and I (pictured here) go way back. I’m talking it has been 22 years now since we spent a memorable summer carpooling to our respective jobs with the American Cancer Society in Center City Philadelphia while declaring our undying love for then-Phillies catcher Darren Daulton. (Right on, fight on, Dutch!)

Lisa’s that type of friend who you can go years without seeing and then, when your cousin’s wedding brings you practically to her doorstep, you meet for breakfast in a New Jersey diner to pick up right where you left off.

Facebook helps. So does the fact that you’re both bloggers, both writing passionately about your kids, both with similar aspirations to do more with your writing, to push it further, to have it be recognized, validated.

During our breakfast this past Memorial Day weekend, it was fun to talk blogging with someone who gets this thing we do here in our little spaces on the Internet, who understands why we do it. Not everyone does.

It’s good to have writing friends like this, someone non-competitive, someone in your corner, someone cheering you on. Necessary, even.

So, when the BlogHer Voices of the Year winners were announced a few weeks ago and neither of our names were on the list, Lisa and I commiserated over Facebook.

“Just wasn’t our year,” we said. “There’s always next time!” “Onward and upward!”

It’s impossible to select everyone who submitted a post (or posts, in my case) as a Voice of the Year. We get that. People who are writers understand this is how things go. Win some, you lose some and every other feel-good cliche.

But here’s one thing I’ve learned about rejection: it’s easier if you’ve got company.

(Maybe that’s subjective. What the hell do I know anyway? All I know is that after a dead-end job search lasting more than a year and being turned down for two decent-sized writing grants that would have helped pay a coupla bills during the past few months, I know a little somethin’ somethin’ about rejection.)

Rejection’s also easier if you have friends like Lisa.

Which led to an idea.

“Send me what you submitted for the BlogHer Voices of the Year contest,” I said to Lisa via Facebook. “I’ll include it on my blog. I’m going to do a losers post.”

Lisa immediately got my humor in that comment because, well, humor at the expense of oneself is kind of what she does on her blog, The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein.

And, since rejection is always more fun with friends, you’re invited to join us.

If you submitted a potential BlogHer Voices of the Year ’13 post that didn’t get chosen, leave a comment on this post with your link and I’ll include it in a round-up post that I’ll publish on July 25.

To start us off In the meantime, here’s Lisa’s Voices of the Year 2013 submission followed by two that I sent in.

Mom, You Moron, from The Mixed Up Brains of Lisa Weinstein

For Some, the Waiting Really Isn’t the Hardest Part  ((Melissa Firman)

What Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day Means for the Unemployed (Melissa Firman)

Your turn. Let your Voice be heard.


Thanks for sharing this post!

3 thoughts on “let your Voice be heard (or, here’s to the losers)

  1. Liane

    Great idea, Melissa! Did you know there is a website called “Modern Love Rejects,” which publishes essays that the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column has rejected?

    I submitted several pieces to VOTY too. Glad to know I’m in such good company here!

    Here’s one: “Don’t Stop Believin'” http://www.autismafter16.com/article/07-17-2012/dont-stop-believin
    And another: “Assigned Seats” http://skirt.com/essays/assigned-seats

    I’ll stop with two. There’s just so much rejection a person can handle 🙂

  2. Kathy Radigan

    I think it’s so great that you have managed to stay friends so long!! You are right, it is nice to have a friend go through things with, especially not getting chosen as VOTY!! I told myself it was not my time too, but it did help to know that I was in very good company!! Great post!!

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