Leaping Through The Doorway


Making the leap this year, going to do it, I am doing it. Oh Carp, I’m still standing on the edge. Why do I not just jump already?

I’m talking about writing competitions. There are always advertisements out there about one contest or another to win money. trips, a spot in an anthology or magazine. A writer can get overwhelmed when deciding on which ones to enter. I know..I’m one of them.

So I researched a whole slew (no I don’t know how much is in a slew, but it’s a lot), of contests and have come up with one option for me. Writer’s Digest. That’s it for this year  at least at the time of this post that is the one. Or rather ones, I’m entering.

I’m going for it with a few of them. And I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit unnerved by this choice of mine. I mean it’s one thing to have your writing/critique group review your work and give their feedback, that’s safe. Being judged in a contest – scares the words out of me and feels like I’m hanging over a cliff that has something you can’t see at the bottom. And you know if you drop you may not die, but you know some kind of creature is waiting to gleefully grab onto you and …well I’m not sure although it cannot be a good thing.

I’m doing it despite or rather in spite of my fears. The self-critic wails that it’s not a good idea, you’ll fail you know, you’re not good enough..blah..blah..blah. Tired of that carp too. (yeas I know I said carp and not crap – twice now)

Maybe the short story will center around my fear of entering writing contests. I’m just so non-competitive, can I really do this?  (stop it nagging negative inner voice.) Okay sorry about that, anyway…..  I can do this, I am doing this, I must do this. There take that inner critic that takes joy in being overly critical – ha!- I silence you.

Yeah – see what happens when I get nervous. I ramble on and on just saying (typing) whatever happens to cross thru my consciousness. It’s an affliction I tell ya. Maybe backing off the coffee could help, but I really don’t think so. Perhaps deep breathing. Breathe in (count to four), breathe out (count to four – no I don’t know why four it just sounds good). Then repeat the process.

Okay that worked – a little. Still have a nervous stomach, feeling jumpy – so I may as well leap.

Here…..I…..Go.

Well, I’m finishing the stories first. I’ll keep you in the loop (or maybe google circle) of how it goes.

So how many out there have done the contest thing? Did you survive intact? Oh by the way – this post was inspired by friends posting about contests. Brave souls that they are have made the leap. They are – Sarah Wedgbrow and Stephanie Mooney.

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8 thoughts on “Leaping Through The Doorway

  1. Survived and still going. I recommend submitting to non-contest opportunities too. For both magazines and contests, I think it’s smart to start with the free ones (no entrance fees) until you start feeling confident and get some honorable mentions or wins to your name. I didn’t do that, and then I felt bad about losing/not placing AND wasting money, lol.

    No matter what, allow the process to teach you rather than defeat you. Writing is not about winning; it’s about playing the game.

    Good luck!

    • “No matter what, allow the process to teach you rather than defeat you. Writing is not about winning; it’s about playing the game.” — My motto for contests. 🙂

      Which one(s) did you enter? I’m still looking into the free to enter ones also. Researching which ones are legit and which are just the scams trying to get filler for anthologies that they want to sell.

  2. I did one last year. It was waayyy too big to start with and I got a thank you for entering but…

    I was encouraged by a friend and it was one of those “Send the first 100 words of your YA novel” things. I had it printed out and in the envelope and mailed before I thought about it and changed my mind. My thought is: at least I did it.

    K.

    • It’s this irrational fear of success I have that has kept me from entering some of the contests I’ve seen. I’m so freaking weird that way. I guess by just entering I’d be “Winning” – lol 🙂

  3. Hey, that’s me! LOL.

    It took me a while before I was confident enough to enter contests. I think that starting to query was what changed things. I’m learning that the only cure for a fear of rejection is… well, being rejected.

    Go for it! Think of it as an adventure. 😉

    • Oddly enough – the thought of rejection is not what has kept me from entering contests. It’s the thought of winning that scares me. Really. Not kidding. I queried a looong time ago for my first novel and was rejected several times, I thought it was no big deal. It really didn’t bother me. I didn’t know the people on a personal level so if they rejected what I wrote I didn’t feel bad that it wasn’t what they wanted.Eh- thinking back I probably wasn’t ready but I am now. (ok enough rambling)

      I do love me some adventure. 🙂

  4. I’m only entering contests that look like good opportunities and because I believe in this book that I’ve just written (which is due for revisions at the beginning of September when I’ve had a nice break from it). I actually don’t expect to win, not that I’m not going to try my hardest. I’m doing it for the experience and to get my brain focused on the “other” side of writing–queries, loglines, synopses. Just by writing my synopsis, I’ve learned some things that need to be tweaked in my book so they are as good as I make them sound. 🙂
    Good luck with your contests!! And, yeah, what Kristan said: enter the free ones!!

    • Queries, loglines and synopses…oh my! 🙂 I just want to go back to the fun stuff — writing. 🙂

      I’m making a list of free ones today (although I’m still going ot enter one of the WD ones). I hear ya that it’s more about the experience than winning and I just thought a thought – if I enter the writing contests with that thought in mind then it’ll make it more fun too. Hmmm…that’s going to work I believe.

      Thanks 🙂 and luck be with you too! 🙂

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