That is the question I ask myself all too often, especially as it relates to entering writing competitions. One answer to my constant questioning is the fear of not measuring up, a crack in my character left there by my mother’s constant “you can’t.”
After all, I’m a grown up now, even a great-grandma, so I should be able to get past that one. But there’s also the lingering doubt that I probably won’t win so why waste the time. Good point!
However, isn’t it also good practice to write and try submitting pieces? Isn’t it worth my time to find out what others think of my writing? Well . . . oh, stop that!
Yes, I should try and what if I’m rejected, lose the contest, or just don’t measure up. The bonus in this whole exercise is that I will have had some practice. And doesn’t practice make perfect? We need to put that idiom to work in all this.
And I know this. Taking piano lessons starting at age six, it was literally drilled into my mind that practice should happen often and with great effort on my part. Recently, my flute instructor and I talked about the need to practice every day. Every day? Yes, every day.
So, if I equate trying by submitting my writing to contests here, there and yon to practicing, it perhaps won’t be so frightening. Forget the part about judges reading your work, the other writers submitting pieces, the silence when you hear nothing . . . after all, it’s part of practicing my chosen craft.
Sigh . . . I feel better now. How about you?
Q4U: How do you feel about submitting your work, whether to contests, magazines, perhaps for an anthology, etc.? I’d love it if you shared your thoughts in a comment below.