This year Nathan and I will be entering our first writing competition. As I’ve talked about on the FB page, we’ve been learning a lot by doing short stories and we though it would be great to put some of them neck and neck with our peers and see how we fare.
From the photography world, I’ve learned how beneficial competitions can be. It gets us thinking. Makes us demand more and yes, puts us head to head with other writers work. Sometimes it’s exhilarating, sometimes disappointing. Sometimes you disagree with judges and wish you could give them a piece of your mind.
In the end however we gain experience from competition. There’s nothing like it. Instead of seeing ourselves as we imagine, we often get to see ourselves a more realistic light. I think competing really makes us buckle down and become a better writers.
We’re starting with the short story contest at the annual Write On The River conference this Spring. We’ve also started a list of conferences with competitions on the maps page. I really think that a successful writer is about more than just writing. It’s about selling and about marketing. That includes getting involved, learning and challenging yourself to raise the bar. Competition (and conferences) help you do just that.
Don’t make excuses this year. It can be daunting, but take your best, and put it out there. Win or lose you’ll learn something from that experience and you’ll walk away a better writer… Gavin Seim