Thursday, 16 August 2007

A beginning

So, OK a new blog started (one of 40,000 today apparently). Why? Well I started a diary (the paper and pen kind) at the beginning of this year. I carry it everywhere and have found that just having it makes me write. Sometimes it's just unsharable nonsense but other times odd sentences or word pairings lead me on to characters and story ideas. So, I thought as I spend so much time sitting at my computer I might as well have an online equivalent, an electronic sibling to my paper and pen. Another place to sit and natter to myself and to anyone who wants to listen, to play with words, to try to find the right ones.

In an undusted corner of my room a teetering stack of cardboard and paper sandwiches together years and years of my writing in a giant Scooby snack. Ideas for characters, for plots, for conflict and adventure. Lots and lots of beginnings but too few middles or ends. I began to think as the pile grew higher that I would never write a complete story, not even a very, very short one.

Then I discovered the joy of writing competitions and more importantly - Deadlines! I've known for years that the only way I ever get anything finished is if I have a deadline to meet but I never thought to apply it to my writing. Self-appointed deadlines aren't worth the paper they're not written on - but every competition comes with its own delectable deadline just begging to be met.

Sad, but true, that was all I needed to get me writing in earnest. It's not the winning (fab though that is when it happens), it's the completing, the finishing, the knowing that I have told a story. So, in the hope of inspiring others, and also as reminders to myself, I will post a list of current writing competitions - and of course their deadlines. Let me know if I've missed out any good ones.

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