One moment of courage…
One poem from long ago…
One entry to a writers’ contest…
Recently, I did something that required me to take a flying leap with the knowledge that I have a needle in a haystack’s chance of success. More like a needle in a stack of needles but hey, it’s still a possibility! With the same feverish precision Ralphie (movie: A Christmas Story) used to write his essay on a Red Ryder BB Gun, I prepared my entry to a popular international writing contest (name omitted for privacy reasons).
Understanding that it’s high-profile, I anticipated a strict application process. If you haven’t entered something like this, here’s a way to frame it:
Say there’s an employment opportunity that you want. And why not? It’s the magical mystical unicorn full of sparkles and sunshine job of all jobs. To get the attention of the person at the top, you must be unique. So, when perfected, you throw your hat in the ring (trying to ignore all the other colorful hats competing against you). Applying for a job online, one must pay attention to all requirements…including the frequently overlooked tiny print. They’re like “Terms and Conditions” agreements. Only you can’t simply scroll through fast and check the acceptance box. You have to read every line and both agree with and adhere to everything before selecting “Accept.” Miss just one micro detail and your hat gets thrown out the window. Ouch.
Countless individuals submit their work to this particular contest each year hoping to win for a variety of reasons. Some do it for the prizes alone. Prize money is cool, but there's more to winning than that. Why’d I do it? The beneficial recognition and opportunities can come from contests such as these. And to prove to myself that I'm not afraid of taking chances.
Now is the time for patience. Win notifications are October/November 2022. :-)
It’s no secret. I love to write. It’s been a lifelong dream. Well...almost. I actually wanted to be a secret agent veterinarian when I was in the younger “grades” (that’s what I called my fellow elementary students). It was during the transition from elementary school to junior high that I began to flourish. Granted, there was no structure to my writing process. I was a kid. I didn’t know about that stuff yet. Instead, I practiced “free writing”. I had story ideas in mind and simply let the pen flow on the paper. Looking back, the grammar wasn’t the best and the plots were weak at best. However, the stories were creative and the characters were strong. I wrote with an unending passion as my imagination soared.
I am an unpublished author. That means that I’m an author but haven’t published any of my works. Could I have published a book by now? Sure...if I wasn't so critical of myself and didn't discouraged because original ideas are difficult to come by. It seems as if every time I have a good idea, an author gets recognition on the Bestseller circuit for a parallel piece. Frustrating, right?
Do I give up on my dream to write and publish a masterpiece?
If I didn’t have any passion for it, I’d find some other goal. This is what I want to do.
There are several ways to approach writing one’s first book. I’m in the initial phase that I refer to as “learning”. In my opinion, it’s important for writers to see how other writers approach the craft. Here’s what I’ve learned:
So, what’s next after this research? Snippets. That’s a cute way of saying “Brainstorming”, but it serves the same purpose. I’m ready and very excited.