Writing is a thankless, long, and lonely road. Becoming an author doesn’t nearly happen as quickly as you want it to and the achievements can be few and far between.
Really, really far between.
Which I why I’ve decided to count my writing achievements. And you should too.
1. Starting this blog!
Kay so maybe this doesn’t count, but it took a lot for me to say ‘Go for it’ and hit ‘Public’ on the WordPress settings.
Being brave enough to share my work is still something I struggle with. Very few people IRL know that I write and before I started this blog I wasn’t prepared to share any original work at all.
It was a huge change.
2. Entering the Project Canvas contest
This was the first contest I entered which makes it the first time I dared to share an original work with anyone.
Yes, it was an impulsive decision. Yes, the work entered was hardly my best. No, I didn’t win. But that doesn’t matter! Point is, I took that important step.
3. Entering Cook Publishing’s “What If”Contest
This contest I took little more seriously than Project Canvas (no disrespect to the project). For this, I worked with a few ideas instead of jumping on the first thing that came to my head and starting the work three days before the deadline like a student. Even better, I had a lot of fun writing for this contest so that’s double the achievement. Granted this was another flop in terms of, you know, ‘winning’ and all that, but if I measured success purely in what contests I won or what works landed on the bookshelf I wouldn’t write at all.
The story I entered can be read here. I liked what I did with it, but any feedback is welcome.
4. Completed a 100k fan-fiction
Some authors are against fan-fiction. Some people are against fan-fiction. It gets a bad reputation.
Personally I think fan-fiction is an invaluable way to get writing experience. Yes, writing original works is important but fan-fiction allows a writer to practice plotting, story beats, dialogue, and character consistency without the pressure of balancing original characters and world-building.
Whatever your opinions on it, writing a 100k story is nothing to sniff at.
5. Entering The Lost Boys Press “Moot” contest
A little while ago, The Lost Boys Press had a writing contest with an epic prompt of “meeting of enemies to discuss terms.” I decided to give this contest a try. While I didn’t win, it was still important to try.
The story I entered can be read here. Any criticism or love you can give it will be much appreciated.
6. Not Giving Up
I’ve been writing stories since I was 9 years old. I wanted to be published years ago and it hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still going because storytelling is my biggest passion. There is nothing in this world I love more than a fantastic story, except when I’m the one orchestrating it.
You might not be impressed with my list. As this list is mostly complied of contests I haven’t won, you might argue this is more like a list of failures than successes.
Some days it’s hard not to agree with that sentiment.
Sometimes I think about giving up. I ask myself why I haven’t finished a manuscript in years. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to call myself an author. But I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing. I’ve been doing it for so long that I can’t picture my life without it. If I’m going to write for my whole life, I might as well share some of those stories right?
Now it’s your turn. What are your writing achievements? Big, small, don’t be shy. It’s time to boast! If you’ve published a book or started a website or entered a contest, put it in the comments.