What’s this? Another blog post in just two days? Has the whole world gone mad? Has Alex gone mad?
I’m writing because of the added inspiration that I’ve had these last few months. I’ve been writing more than ever, and I’ve actually entered more competitions in the last six months than I’ve done so… possibly in the rest of my entire life.
It’s been great. I don’t mean that sarcastically, in the manner that those who know me would probably expect me to say it. It’s been a lot of work, too. I’ve spent some days writing for three hours straight, for four hours straight, or for longer in separate portions.
Honestly, I can’t say that I’ve ever been quite so productive. I’ve actually started producing custom Dungeons and Dragons content, like I’ve long wanted to do. I’ve been practicing world building in a setting where it’s perhaps more acceptable and more forgivable for things to go a little wrong.
But the competitions are the main reason for my recent success. When it comes down to it, just choosing to close your eyes and hit submit on a post which you feel isn’t good enough, that isn’t perfect… that in itself is perfect. The greatest fear for any creator is that what they have made will not do. It is that they can still work on it, that there is always some kind of improvement to be made.
The greatest challenge is accepting that something, while not perfect, can still be finished. TV shows and movies have plenty of points that open themselves to criticism. Unrealistic characters, plot holes and the like. It’s a fact of life that, as imperfect people, we’ll produce imperfect creations. To pretend otherwise is a lie.
So it is that I’ve entered four short story competitions (Thank you Australian Writer’s Centre and the Fellowship of Australian Writers), one poetry competition (Thank you Quantum Words), and an essay writing competition (Thank you Aesop and the Saturday Paper).
It’s important to say thank you for the opportunities given in life, and while I am still waiting to see if I win… some of them, I know that the simple act of submission has strengthened me. Perhaps some of my entries were not up to my full personal standard. Life has a manner of getting in the way of things, even those as important as paid writing opportunities. Deadlines, distractions, obligations, work, and even just the need for personal space have all contributed to confuse and redirect me, but somehow I manage to get them submitted. You have an infinitely higher chance of winning if you submit rather than if you do not.
The reason I mention these particular groups above is because they are but a fraction of those offering paid writing opportunities, and perhaps it’s time that I start to fully take advantage of their offers.
Because, if I really think about it, there’s nothing stopping me. Well, sure, some of these competitions and opportunities require you to pay in a small amount, but many of them are entirely free to enter. So… why not?
If there’s nothing stopping me from doing what I love, what’s stopping you?