So I've chosen competitions as my subject for day 3 of this challenge.
I am a subscriber to the monthly Writing Magazine, and find its pages full of inspiring stories, tips and advice.
As soon as it pops through the door I eagerly sift through the pages to get a glimpse at the articles, but the first thing I concentrate on are the competition pages. There are four main competitions across the Writing Magazine and its supplement, Writers News. They are usually for short stories, 1500-1700 words on a variety of themes.
Scanning through the pages of Writers News also reveals a cornucopia of competitions to be entered, for novels, short stories and poetry.
So I go through jotting down details, themes, word count, deadlines, etc. and plan out just when I can work on each one to get done for the deadline.
I have all the best intentions of entering as many competitions as I can, but inevitably life gets in the way and the deadlines come and go without even a first draft finished. I have a lot of stories that have been started but not finished yet.
I used to be very strict with myself about setting deadlines, writing weekly to-do lists and weekly word counts to aim for. After a while I realised I was spending more time scheduling when to write, that I should have been spending actually doing some writing.
So nowadays I'm trying to be a lot more chilled out, spending more time writing and if a competition catches my eye I will go for it. I'm not going to get too upset with myself though if I miss another deadline. After all, I've started a story at least and there are plenty of other places to send them to!