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Friday, September 6, 2013

Broadcasting News

Since learning I am a Laura award finalist, I find myself unwilling to share the good news with my friends and even my critique group. This is partly because I’ve always avoided being a braggart, and I definitely don’t like being around people who spend too much time tooting their own horns. But, digging deeper, I’m thinking there might be more to this reluctance.

What are you doing, at your age, I ask myself, entering your work in various writing contests and competitions? Do you crave recognition? Is something missing in your life that being a winner or even a finalist will counterbalance?

Then I take some comfort knowing other writers, even well-known writers like Sandra Dallas, Ellie Waterston or Jane Kirkpatrick have also won awards, meaning they enter contests. I suppose for a free-lance writer sending unsolicited pieces to magazines, every submission is a form of rivalry, so perhaps entering competitions is just part of the process.

I also believe, and decidedly so, that I spend more time polishing something I send to a contest. I might equate this effort to the last push of a sprinter who breaks the tape at the finish line. This is a positive effort even if I don’t win, because it exercises my skills and helps me with future writing projects. And sometimes I receive feedback and criticism from someone other than my peers. This is a great help.

Okay, I’m glad I got this off my chest; howeverI still want to keep good news, when I am lucky enough to get it, to myself. If I win the Pulitzer Prize someday (ha!), that will make headlines without any effort on my part.

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