After being nagged, pestered and finally (the next bit may be an exaggeration) threatened by a friend, I checked out Create50 and the Twisted50 vol 2 competition.
What I saw was a breath of fresh air compared to both other writing competitions (you mean I get feedback and can re-write my submission?) and social media sites (no – or at least not predominantly – arguments and slagging people off as a past-time, social media’s great gift to society).
Before this I’d been writing and jotting down ideas but had fallen into a doldrums, constantly working a late shift and extra hours are not conducive to coming home and thinking, let alone writing. I’d been playing with silly ideas, writing 2 paragraph stories (that will NEVER see the light of day) but – pah! I’d given up in reality.
I racked my brains until a suitably twisted and twisty story idea eventually made its way to the top. I worked on a few drafts before submitting the absolute perfect draft and waited for the adoration. It didn’t come, in fact some people had the audacity to find fault with my perfect creation. It’s the best thing that could have happened to it, I’m still reading new comments and looking at ways to improve the story even after judging has started.
What surprised me was how enjoyable offering constructive feedback on other peoples work has turned out to be, especially when it leads to a nice too-and-throw situation and making a new friend. OK it’s online but there’s a real person on the other end, offering you advice and listening to what you have to say as well. Sometimes agreeing, sometimes not but, so far, always with respect and consideration.
I had given up on writing, now I’m fired up and ready to throw down the gauntlet again. I may never get anywhere in a Create50 competition but it has set me on the path to getting my ideas and work ‘out there’.
Philip F. Webb.