I recently checked out the results of a writing competition I entered a few months ago and was dismayed yet again to discover that the first prize had been won by a well established writer with a string of publications and awards, a lecturer in creative writing etc etc. The prize was a week at a residential writing retreat and a great incentive for we aspiring writers, but I’m not sure what this particular winner was hoping to gain from this type of prize. So, why enter and leave little hope for the rest of us? It’s like Usain Bolt turning up at his kid’s school sports day to see if he can win a trophy in the parents’ race.
I’m not saying the winning piece was not good. It was excellent, and why wouldn’t it be? It just doesn’t seem fair not to give lesser mortals a fighting chance. It is a fact that very few make a living out of writing. But for those that do, please give the rest of us a break.
OK, this is a whinge and a classic cry of ‘It’s not fair!’ But as the saying goes: ‘All’s fair in love and war.’ I have to ask myself would I continue to enter smaller competitions if I were a successful professional writer? I suppose the answer must be ‘Yes’. So it is mere envy that I feel. I should therefore use this to spur me on to greater things. Not the usual incentive I seek!
A Fine Balance
My creativity can be measured
As a point in which the clarity
Of mind allows a freeing flow
Of finely focused thought.
My usual relaxation is a leisured
Glass (or two) of wine, but parity
A balance, as all of us should know,
Is a goal that is not easily sought.
And a soothing picture to calm me down: