Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Writing to Win

It's hard to see things clearly when you have your head up your ass. When I first discovered the writing community in Second Life, I wandered about Cookie Island exploring all the creative opportunities it afforded. One thing of note was the INKsters' Daily Writing Contest.

"Not for me," I proudly thought. "I don't write to compete with anyone." It's amazing how smugness can mask cowardice and stupidity. I don't compete? What did I think publishing was all about? Everything I will send in to be published is effectively being entered into a contest, competing with all the myriad submissions the publisher receives. If I want to be published, I'll be competing, whether I want to admit it or not.

So if I'm competing anyway, why not hone the skill? The INKsters' Daily Contest is a perfect whetstone for your pen. First and foremost it gets you writing which, without doing, you're not much of a writer. Second, it encourages you to write well. When you don't win, which will be often, you're forced to pick up your game. When you do win, you learn what worked and can use that to later advantage.

So now, my head once again in daylight, I plan on submitting an entry as often as I can. I'm not afraid of losing any longer, because that will only force me to get better. I'm not afraid of competition, because the more competition I have the better I need to be. And getting good raises your chances of winning the big prize: publication.


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