Friday Speak Out: My Ultimate Inspiration, Guest Post by Kim Smith

Friday, September 11, 2009
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.


Do you want to reach WOW’s audience? We welcome short posts (500 words or less) from writers just like you! You can include your bio, pic, and links to your website/blog for promotion. Our only requirement is that your post be about women and writing. Send your Friday “Speak Out!” post to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration.



Flory said...

Congratulations! This is inspiring to read about. I've taken an online writing class, picked up dozens of books on the craft, but I haven't dared to enter a competition. I just may do that soon. Thanks.

Betsy said...

Well done!!

I have only won a couple of very small competitions so far, but have entered some big ones that haven't been judged yet. I'm not expecting anything, as I know how hard it is to get one of those "congratulations" emails. Even so, even a small win in some obscure competition is enough to get the creative juices flowing for me. I think it's a tremendous boost and lets you know your on the right track. I think all writers should do it, and get into the habit of throwing your work out into the world. After all, it's the reader that completes the work.

I can't imagine how it must feel to win a big competition... Life is obviously telling you to keep going!

Congratulations again, You deserve it!

Kim said...

Hi Alison - thank you - I'm glad you liked my post!

Flory - keep on writing! There are so many online classes to take. I've taken quite a few, and always learned something from each one.

Betsy - congrats on your wins! I, too, started small - entered some very local contests.
But dare to think big!

Also, learn from your non-wins. I'm currently revamping a piece that I know has potential, even though it never placed in the two competitions I entered. As I'm doing so, I'm seeing plenty of areas that need improvement. :)

Laura-Jane said...

Congratulations, Kim. Very well deserved awards.

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