Submission deadlines are the best thing to motivate an uninspired writer. The deadlines for contests come up fast, unyielding hooks ready to yank the story out from under you. It’s the perfect stimulant for a write who, perhaps by their own doing or by some outside distraction, has stopped honing their skills. Either the story or poem, or flash is completed and sent in to the intangible, all-knowing judges assigned to decide your work’s fate, or it’s not. (And I don’t know about you, but I usually feel devastated if I don’t get a piece completed in time for a contest I really wanted to be involved in.) Simple as that.
For example, my poetry has been put on hold for awhile, longer than I really like to go without penning something poetic. Alas, my novel has taken over my muse and held it captive for quite some time and, understandably, my poetry has suffered. So, because of this, this past week I’ve really been focusing on my submission pieces, getting in poems and short stories that I’ve been re-working (or creating) to the various contests I’ve found. Thus far I’ve submitted one poem (and one short story) to the Anchorage Daily News, one poem to Ice Floe, and three poems to Message in a Bottle. I’m quite excited about all three of the contests so here’s hoping I get a good reply. What’s more is that, on top of the contests, I’ve been writing a ton of other random poems as well. It’s great!
I think I’ve been bitten by the submission bug (a fiery thing with large jaws) because I’m submitting to other contests too. By this Friday, I plan on having a rough draft of what I’m submitting to Live Life: A Daydreamers Journal, as well as have a solid idea as to what to write for RAW (Radical Arts for Women). Both of the contests call for short stories, which is also good, because I do need to work on my prose writing, developing more concise images, beautiful descriptions (with metaphors and similes), that sort of thing.
The moral of this post? Well, if you feel like you’re in a rut, just find some writing contests that intrigue you and submit before the deadline passes! It’ll get you writing again, and really, isn’t that what we want anyway?
Until next time!