My Ultimate Inspiration
by Kim Smith
Like many writers, I often hit a stumbling block, or ten, when it comes to making time to sit down and write. Either I lose interest in my current project, or I am too busy or tired, or most likely, I just can't think of anything interesting to say.
However, there is something that happens, albeit infrequently, in my life that is guaranteed to spur me to write pages upon pages of inspired words, and this headiness usually lasts for a few months.
I'm talking about placing in, or glory be, actually winning a creative writing competition. In recent weeks I was lucky enough (dare I say talented enough?) to place second and fourth in two well-known provincial writing competitions. I think my screams of joy were probably heard well into the next town.
After those first dizzying days of recognition, I came to several realizations. One: I could finally admit to myself that I am a good writer (and oh, it's so difficult to say that) and that my skills as such are real, and not merely some weird cosmic fluke. Two: Winning makes me want to write MORE! Of this, I have no doubt.
All sorts of ideas and visions are jostling about in my head; I'm jotting down dozens of potential story plots. I've enrolled in an online writing class AND an online critique group. I've pulled every book on writing from the bookshelves, and am scouring the pages for information, tips, and advice, anything that will improve my writing skills. And I'm even, gasp, considering writing an anthology of short stories. To this end, I've taken the plunge and signed up for NaNoWriMo, something I would never have considered a few short months ago.
For me, this is nothing short of amazing. Only a few weeks ago I was suffering from the "I'm not very good. I'll never get anywhere with this," mentality, and had retreated to a large stack of novels and an equally large stash of chocolate. Little did I know that I was soon to receive those two fateful emails titled, "Congratulations!"
Such is the adrenalin rush of being recognized as a 'real' writer. It doesn't happen often, and even if it never happens again, I will still plug along and write my stories. But while the thrill lasts, I'm making the most of it, and perhaps I'll churn out a first-place story this time - you never know!
Kim lives in the country with one needy dog, three perfect cats, one long-suffering husband, and far too many chickens. She tries to write on a regular basis after a suffering a writer's block of thirty years.
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