I have finished a short story for a competition, deadline: tomorrow. It was hard, hard work. It never flowed, and at the last moment I did a final read-through, and was deeply disappointed by the chasm between what I aimed for and what I achieved. But....
I set myself this task, and achieved it. I felt like giving up several times, and thought it was hopeless (which it probably was)...but I persevered. And that gives me a perverse little sense of delight. I certainly put a lot of myself into it; I did my best.
I think writing has felt hard lately because I know I'm doing my best, and am aware that's not enough. I have to learn to be even better.
And, while I am convinced I don't stand a chance in this competition, which will, I'm sure, attract high standard entries....there's always that little fizz of hope, inextinguishable.