Writing competition

 

Do you compete in writing competitions? There are so many out there for writers. They can vary from genre, age group to paid or free. You can find them from organizations like the ones I am part of such as the SCWBI and NCWN and also in magazines such as Writer’s Digest.

It is a great way to showcase your skill to the judges. There are usually thousands of people who compete and whether you win or not it’s a good way to get you to write. I have done quite a few competitions, still looking for my first placing, and each time I am hopeful that this is the time that I will win. There are times the winners are published for all to read and I am blown away and understand why this writer won.

But before you say, “Wait just a minute Sharon. I can’t afford the entry fee” I am of the frugal sort. I will do the competitions that are free which are out there you just have to look. It could be as simple as a competition from the local paper, one that your Art Council promotes or even as easy as writing a jingle for a product off the radio. There is no harm in starting small. Bottom line it is getting you to think and getting words down.

A few of my competition pieces have been extended into fuller stories to which gets a life of its own which has been a plus.

I will keep trying who knows maybe one day I can post here that I won.

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Getting motivated to write: Hard or easy?

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How hard is it to get motivated to write? When one comes back from being away, the holidays come, one is sick for a period of time, schooling and work for others, how hard is it to write? A writer is always thinking of scenes, plots, characters and their development in their heads, but when that motivation is gone how does one pick themselves up to do it?

There are so many distractions in today’s world along with responsibilities making the move to sit down and write can be hard. One can rational that they will do it tomorrow, yes tomorrow I will start. Procrastination is something very powerful.

I have not written in a while but been working on my author’s platform making sure links are accurate, updating my list of books I’ve written and so forth. I been crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s to make sure all looks okay. With my platform being wide range in the tools I use this is something that is very time-consuming. It is tedious, not fun some days and at some point flat-out boring. Burt very important in my opinion. Hopefully when I am done with the overhaul I’ll be back to writing.

To those who are at the point of just not feeling the need or want to write, maybe a break is what is needed. Perhaps you are having writer’s block, perhaps the pace it has taken is not what you have expected or maybe and just maybe you are not feeling this story anymore. It happens.

When that has happened to me I moved on to another storyline, I have three going at the same time which helps me with less down time of writing.

Motivation to write is not always there There may be circumstances to prevent us from doing so or we just may not want to. Breath. It happens to a lot of us, not just you.

Hopefully soon the juice will find its way out and you will be back to writing that book to the end. A break after all could be what you need.

Researching your book: Do you do it?

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Do you research your writings of any kind? Whether it’s a short story, novella to a full size novel, do you research the piece? I am entering a short story in one of Writer’s Digest many contests. The only condition is that it has to be under 4k. Still there were a couple of sections that I did a bit of research to make it accurate.

For my children series I have notes coming out of my yang for each animal in the book to make sure they are in the region I am writing in. I have checked to make sure the scenery is how it’s suppose to be. I have pages of links that I have used to prove my research. Even though some people have told me that this genre does not need to be researched. This is such a huge part of the book. You get one big thing wrong and get the person who knows about it to read your book, brace yourself for that review.

I was reading a book for review and in it the author mentioned how his cockatiel could sing songs with 40 different lyrics. I knew that was inaccurate. I let it go. But every time he went to his office in the book this bird would sing.

I knew again this was wrong. How? I had at that point, and still to this day, been rescuing and adopting birds for over 15 years and of the ones with me were four cockatiels. While they can sing a multiple of songs and sounds I have never heard them sing the words to the song. I even contacted a breeder I knew who had been doing this for over 40 years and she laughed at me. It did ruin what was a great book.

You never know who reads your book. If your novel is one that would benefit from research,do it.