A contest, a writing commitment and a writer’s retreat

Apologies, that almost sounds like the opening line of a very lame joke.  LOL! 🤣

Hello my lovelies, happy March. 😊🌸

This month is going to be pure craziness.  And in a weird, twisted way I am super excited for it.

Right at the end of December I received a newsletter sharing the quarterly news of our writers’ organisation.  The last news segment was about a writing contest for unpublished authors, the Strelitzia awards, hosted by the organisation and in a moment of pure madness I thought “What the hell.  I signed myself up for that sucker.  Well, if the truth be told I paid the entrance fee, wrote up my email and then … panicked.  I couldn’t go through with it.  I looked over at my son and blurted “I can’t do this!”  Very nonchalantly he simply strolled over, looked down at the email I had typed and hit the send button.  That’s when the “What the hell have I done” moment set in.  Actually more like me looking at him, aghast, and barely managing to get the words out.  “What have you done?”  He grinned unrepentantly and sauntered off to continue playing his Xbox game while I stared at my computer screen in horror.  The email was gone, die was cast.  You see, despite the fact that I have, in fact, been writing for the past four years I haven’t submitted my work to anyone for publication because I never thought my work was good enough.  I felt I had too much to learn and nobody would want to read what I had written.

At the end of last year (just before the contest incident) I finally pulled myself towards myself and decided to get serious about my writing, step waaaaaay outside of my comfort zone and make my dream of becoming an author a reality.  Enter Exhibit A – the contest incident.  Or, in writing terms, the inciting incident – the event that is the catalyst for the protagonist’s growth.  Part of the contest rules is that we get to work with a mentor.  The number of entrants is limited to ten each year and the ten lucky enough to make the selection are assigned a mentor to coach them and guide them through the process.  Now don’t get over excited, the entrants are not selected by work submitted, it’s simply the first ten to pay their entrant’s fee.  Still, I made it.  I still have mixed feelings about what I’ve done but it ticks so many boxes for me that I need to just suck it up, cupcake.  I have completed 40% of my first draft of 50 000 words.  I invite you to track my progress with the progress bar on my Home page.

Then, as if I wasn’t crazy enough, I committed to participating in the inaugural Romance Novel Writing Month event starting on 1 March.  Two options are available – the Lite version, which is a commitment to complete 20 000 words within the month of March.  It can either a novella written from start to finish or it can be words added to a current or previously archived project.  For those wanting to complete the first draft of a novel, the Pro version is a 50 000 word commitment.  Since I am already in the thick of things and nearly halfway through the first draft of my contest entry I will be committing to the Lite version’s 20 000 words for March.  Wish me luck.

I can honestly say, with pride, that I have been working super hard at achieving my goals these last few months.  So as a reward for my diligence and dedication I am treating myself to a Writers’ Retreat at Lalapanzi Lodge in the beautiful mountains of Somerset West.  A full weekend of all things writing and writerly with fabulous, like minded people to talk shop with nonstop.  People who understand that characters do, in fact, talk to you and you are not suffering from a multiple personality disorder.  That “the Muse” is a real thing.  And that I am creative, not loony.   Heaven and bliss!  I cannot wait.  Writing is often a solitary activity and it is not easy but these retreats go a long way to topping up the well that keeps you going.

Whatever March has in store for you, may it bring you joy and fulfillment.  May your blessings cup runneth over.

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