To Compete Is Human: An IWSG Post

Good day writers from all over.

I can’t believe we’re in the last four months of 2018. I’m sure lots of us are thinking, “I can’t wait for this year to be over.” I’m in the same boat.

Well, let’s shift to something more light-hearted. Today is Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, writers post the first Wednesday of the month about our accomplishments, our shortcomings, and the lessons we learned along the way.

Thanks to Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M. J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler for co-hosting this month’s IWSG Day. If you want to know more about them and read their posts, click on the names above.

This month, I’m talking about something that is hard for me: writing contests.

If you follow my blog, you know that one of my goals is to enter at least one writing contest. We’re two-thirds into the year and sadly, I haven’t entered one yet.

I’ll be honest. The thought of entering a contest scares me. It terrifies me to cut a portion of my soul and passion, bundle it into a story, stuff it in an envelope, and send it to the host of said contest. And knowing it will be dissected by judges heightens my fear.

So why am I not entering contests? Let me start by saying it’s not out of ignorance. I research contests. I follow a few Twitter accounts posting contests to enter. The prompts/themes are not out of my range. Most contests are flexible in the genre of story, unless specifically stated. It’s not for those reasons.

It boils down to one thing. I’m afraid to fail. I’m afraid of rejection. This is something I’ve discussed numerous times. Whether in my blog or on social media. And yes, I’ve heard that it’s part of the writing process and it’s inevitable. Even after the talks and the lessons, I am hesitant to bear my soul to other writers and publishers.

But there are benefits to entering contests. Sure, I might not win. Sure, my work might get shredded, if they choose to send it back to me. But there in lies the greater good. I’ll gain confidence after all is said and done. So combining confidence with the notion of rejection is an oxymoron. But there are lessons which will bring about the confidence. It will be satisfying writing something that scares me. Something Natalie Goldberg encourages all writers do. If I win, it will be a definite booster. (Note to self, heed Han Solo’s advice.) And let’s say I lose. I’ll know how to make my stories better. I’ll know more about what writers and publishers look for.

So, writing contests? An experience that frightens me. While I may not write to make a profit, entering contests can do wonders for my writing journey. Regardless of whether I fail or succeed, it will feel so good putting my passion for the written word out into the world. And in the grand scheme of things, every contests offers an opportunity to learn and build confidence in myself.

So if you’re like me, on the fence about submitting your work, I encourage you to step out on faith. Let’s take the plunge together. Don’t let fear hold you back. Show your passion to the world.

If you find this post inspiring, feel free to comment. And if you want to know more about the IWSG and what they’re about, click on the link below.

Until next time, take care and let’s go after it!


3 thoughts on “To Compete Is Human: An IWSG Post

  1. So with contests, they can only choose one winner, and maybe a runner up, right? Lots of talented writers won’t get chosen and you might be one of them. Doesn’t mean you’re not talented!!! Just keep that passion pen (or keyboard) flowing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s