Don’t Always Listen to Your Mother

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I am one of the contest coordinators for the upcoming Rattler Writing Contest, sponsored by Christian Writers of the West. 

I have been encouraging beginning writers to enter when the contest opens on August 1.

They are often hesitant because they don’t feel they have a chance to win, when put up against more experienced authors.

However, winning shouldn’t be the primary reason to enter a contest. (Remember, there will be only one grand-prize and perhaps lesser “category prizes.”)

In my opinion, the major reason for entering a contest is the feedback from the judges.

Those few paragraphs are golden nuggets—suggestions to make your writing more exciting, your characters more interesting, your plot stronger.

Once you receive your feedback, reflect on what the judges have written. It is so easy to become angry and just throw their words in the trash, but remember why you entered—and their status in their field—and give careful consideration to what they have said. Writers must develop a thick skin, bearing in mind that the goal of critiques is to HELP you. 

You can always find a friend or relative to validate your writing and tell you how wonderful you are. 

But, if you want useful suggestions, then choose your contest wisely, SUBMIT your best work, and seriously consider the judges’ comments.

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Searching Through the Archives

 

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I recently read a book on writing that was published twelve years ago.

Why did I spend my time reading a book that old? I mean, haven’t things changed so much over the years that the information in the book is obsolete?

While a lot of it IS DEFINITELY NOT HOW WRITERS WRITE “TODAY,” there are some real gems that can be garnered if one takes the time to search for them.

I have noticed that a number of new followers have started to spend time in my website’s (www.brendapoulos.org) archives. There, they are finding posts readily available on a variety of writing-related topics.  

I am not an expert. I simply share what I am learning along the way. Many other authors do the same.

So, let me encourage you to visit my website, as well as the websites of several different authors on a regular basis. There, you can read from a treasure trove of past articles/posts.

If you get my regular emails, it can be as easy as clicking on the link to my website after you read my current blog post. Then, scroll through the archives until you come to a few others that interest you. 

Please sign up to receive my blog posts (delivered to your inbox each Sunday afternoon), if you haven’t already done so. That way, you can also contribute information, ask questions, or suggest topics for future posts.