“I cheated in the contest.” Seinfeld quote.
Sorry, I had to throw that in, because it is all I can think of any time there is a contest! I’m a diehard Seinfeld fan, and my brain quite easily goes South to his innuendo and jokes. But I digress.
I’ve been thinking about how I started publishing my writing. The answer is this: contests. Yet, I’ve never won money in a writing contest. I was in Poetry contests as a teen and in my early thirties. Each of those got my poems in an anthology, a beautiful book which was mine for, a fee. I bought both but never won any money.
A Wattpad contest is what encouraged my first self-published book of fiction. Maybe because I wasn’t sure what to write about, and this contest gave a premise. The contest was just for a short story, but the feedback I got from it was encouragement enough to make me try my hand at self-publishing. Since then, I have entered into a Writer’s Digest contest (didn’t win), and plan to enter more. As long as the fee is not exorbitant, why not try? Each time, I hone my skill a little bit more. Nonetheless, I have to be true to myself, and write in my own unique style, rather than trying to write the way the winner actually wrote. They could be looking for something different every time.
The beauty of the contest that got me started on this journey was the fact that I was risking putting my writing out there and NOT winning. Once I got over that, I was able to have the nerve to publish, because some may not think I’m the best writer, but maybe some will. My ego can sustain not winning, so I think it can sustain the popularity contest and occasional criticism. It was really a good preparation, much better than the vanity press contests. So what happens now? I keep publishing my writing!
Made for Me was a continuation of my short story that was entered into a Wattpad contest. Find out more about it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DZ5230G. Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes was a sequel that follows Norrie from Made for Me, who has now become a young woman who is exploring the world and learning who she is. It offers a lot more suspense than the first, which has been called a sweet love story with a futuristic flair. Both are now in paperback as well as Kindle Unlimited, and you may find them, or find more about them, by exploring my Amazon author site at https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716.
The bottom line is, remember who you are writing for, and it doesn’t just boil down to a handful of judges in a contest. Write what you enjoy writing!