Wow. Nathan's contest has been a real dose of reality for me. I guess I always intrinsically assumed that there were a lot of writers out there, but seeing it in real form was a bit of a shock. I read through many of the entries, and almost all of them were really good. Some were outstanding. I made me really think about the competition that I am facing.
And when I say competition, I mean to be published, not to win the dialogue contest. I've written that off long ago. In fact, I never actually thought I had a chance, I just wanted to give it a try for fun. Publication, on the other hand, will be a long, grueling march, but I plan to stick with it for the long haul.
It's hard not to get a little discouraged though, but I think that's okay sometimes. Better to know what you are facing, then to be blindsided in the actual moment.