HomegrammarPre-contest Jitters and Thoughts on Progress

Right now, I’m waiting for my coffee to finish brewing and trying not to stress too much about the writing contest I’ll be taking part in today.

It even made my weekend to-do list. As if I’d forget at this point.

This particular contest involves being given a prompt at noon, writing a 500 word story off of said prompt, getting it in readable shape and then sending it back before noon tomorrow.

When I told my husband about it, he commented predictably, “500 words? That’s nothing. You should be able to do that easily.”

Well, it’s a little harder than that. Beyond the fact the idea should be an original one, the right words need to be chosen and the grammar/spelling should be in decent shape, I don’t write well under pressure. There’s also the fact I tend to be blind to my own errors if I don’t let the piece sit for a little while. So why am I doing this, when I know I don’t do well when put under restraint?

Because it’s a unique way to practice writing fiction. I wouldn’t argue with winning, but it’s more about writing the best little story I can within a relatively short period of time. Even if nothing comes of the contest, I’ll still have a piece of writing to further hone and perhaps turn into something else.

Anyway, this experience reminds me of just how complicated learning how to write is, and how we each do it at our own pace. When it comes to casual online writing or learning differences/disabilities, that’s something I always try to keep in mind.

It’s usually pretty evident when someone is purposely being lazy, but it may not be when they miss mistakes, or can’t tell when they’re making them. Unless you know the person is ok with being corrected, or they ask for constructive criticism, I’d leave them alone, especially if an LD may be involved.

This, in turn, leads me to one of Weird Al’s newer songs, Word Crimes. I’m a fan of his, and while I like this version a lot better than the original date rapey version, I have a hard time liking the attitude it takes. Like most of his songs, it is still rather entertaining.

Al certainly has a way with words.


Pre-contest Jitters and Thoughts on Progress — 2 Comments

  1. Good luck, Emillie! I have trouble writing longer pieces but I'm doing better. I think it's a good idea to push ourselves a little further each time. Good for you for doing the contest.


  2. Thank you, Lily!

    For me, it depends on the subject matter. Some things are harder for me to write than others. This story ended up being longer than the word limit at first, but I managed to trim it down. For this one, the editing process will be my challenge.

    My first paid writing assignment was to write ten articles about bags people pick their dog's poop up with, so after managing that, I have confidence on writing from prompts. 😉

    I do agree, though. It is important to push ourselves.


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