Why I Particapate in Challenges

A friend, who follows my blogs,  asked me the other day why I was doing  writing challenges and posting them? “Aren’t you already a published author?” She made it sound degrading, like I shouldn’t be writing stories for free when I wasn’t getting paid for them.

Well my simple answer was that school has started and I need to get my writing homework done. She looked at me so confused, and I guess anyone would be. Why would any published author be taking writing classes. Here is my short answer, I need to work on my writing.

For those who don’t know, I’ve only started writing and gotten serious about it the last few years. I’m still learning this art form and will always be learning even though I have published books, poems and essays in traditional markets as well as in the self publishing ones.

For me, learning how to write a well written story is and will always be, a never ending proces. That is why I participate in Flash Fiction Challenges across the Blogosphere like Trifecta , Picture it & Write and 100 words Challenges and others.

They offer me a great way to economize my words and sharpen my writing skills to avoid using extra words or fluff in my work.  During these limited word challenges, they make you focus on each word, deciding if its needed to enhance the piece or is it just waste. They have helped me to tighten my writing in so many ways, while also making me think on my feet with the time restraints.

I have found that since I’ve participated in these challenges over the past year,I don’t waste time when I sit down to work on my WIP, and the words flow easily because I’ve trained myself to think clearer, faster and work more precisely with my word choices.

There is also an added benefit of participating in challenges. You get to read some wonderful posts by great writers and authors while exposing your work to other bloggers and making new friends. They even offer you free critiques. It’s the best way I know, besides paying for expensive writing classes, to improve my writing skills.

Hey, I just might start my own Writing Challenge, because as Mr. Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.

Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin

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