Inspired by making a short story longlist recently, I’ve spent the last few weeks entering both novel and short story competitions, ever hopeful that, one day, I might make someone’s shortlist.
It’s not all about winning. Okay, well maybe it is, us aspiring writers need to keep focussed on the dream, but it’s more about being recognised as someone who can write a story worth reading.
Writing is such a solitary process and when the muse bites, it becomes an all-consuming passion, an unstoppable urge that often keeps us up… pounding the keyboard throughout the night.
I’m tired and edited out – planning a two-week editing break soon – but I believe that entering writing competitions is a brilliant way to keep you focused.
It’s only when you put start putting yourself out there and you start receiving feedback on your work, you will know if all your passion and drive has been worthwhile.
Joining a writers group is an invaluable experience, I am so grateful to mine, the Jersey Writers Group, for their incredible support. All my Word Press blogging friends drop by from time offering words of encouragement, which means a great deal.
Get yourself on a creative writing weekend, hang out with like-minded people for forty-eight hours and I guarantee you’ll come away feeling wired and inspired.
Submit to agents, some of them let you down gently with a little feedback, as well as keeping you grounded!
Entering competitions, especially the ones that offer you a critique is a great way to fuel your competitive writing spirit and, when you read the winning stories, it gives you a better idea of the brilliant writers you are up against. Word of advice… wherever possible, get your submissions/competition entries checked by a writing buddy before you submit… the words ‘a few surprising punctuation errors’, will forever haunt me.
Get yourself out there and good luck!
Got to go now… one more competition to enter, just need to run through 94,000 words one more time before I send it off.