Writing

Using Envy as a Tool

It’s official. I am submitting my writing to a couple of contests.

It’s time. Time to get out there and let the world see what I have to offer… as a writer.

I have been subscribing to Poets and Writers magazine, which has the wonderful feature of detailing upcoming contests complete with a calendar of deadlines. Check it out. There is likely a contest you’d be interested in, too. After browsing their database, I have picked out a number of options to which I plan to apply.

The sudden urge to submit my work stems from my realization that I am jealous of writers. You heard me, you lucky few, you. And instead of wrestling with or ignoring that envy, I’ve decided to channel it into something productive. I have heard many a wise person say, in some way or another, that it is important to pay attention to jealousy, as it can lead you to what you want. And when I look at others out there crushing it in the world, I find that I most often envy the lives of creatives and more specifically authors.

I know such a proclamation is likely to elicit a couple of eye rolls. I’m envisioning some practical, well-meaning person asking me things like, “Do you write every day?” or “Have you ever tried to write a large work, say the size of a novel?” or maybe even, “What makes you think you have what it takes?”

But I am not someone who is jumping in blindly. I possess a great deal of realism sprinkled with a dash of hope. I know that most authors get rejected many many times. I know that it takes a large amount of discipline and focus to force myself to write everyday even when I would rather hit the snooze button. I also know that anyone who has accomplished anything had to start by trying.

Or more simply put, no one got anywhere without taking the first step.

Thus, my next step involves submitting to a handful of contests. I’ll update you all as I go. Tears and triumphs. Successes and failures. Victories and defeats. You’ll likely be seeing more of the tears and failures, but alas. It’s worth it.

Wish me luck.

Photo credit: Corinne Kutz on Unsplash