Anyone who knows me knows that I love to write. I can spend an entire day writing stories and thinking up new story ideas. When I graduate college, my dream job would involve creative writing. However, since starting college, I haven’t had too much time to dedicate to writing. When I saw an ad for a writing contest, I had to enter. After all, wasn’t I supposed to be dedicating more of my time to doing things that made me happy?
The deadline for the contest was only in a week, and I didn’t even have an idea for a story. Hoping to gain inspiration, I poked around on their website. I read a few of the short stories they featured on their site, but nothing stood out to me.
Still looking for inspiration, I spent a day just jotting down some quick story ideas. None of my ideas felt good enough for a writing contest, but I refused to be disheartened. I texted a friend, and we had a quick brainstorming session. At the end of the session, I was no closer to finding a good story idea, and I felt irritated.
Deciding that my usual tactics weren’t working, I decided to just dive in. I opened up a blank world document and began typing. About three paragraphs in, I felt that familiar itch in my brain. Finally, inspiration had struck.
I spent the rest of my week typing up my story. I was spending all my free time working on it, so that it would be good enough for the writing contest. By the time I finished, the deadline was the next day, and I still hadn’t proofread or edited. I took a quick break to knock out some homework then I tackled the story.
While editing, I became my biggest critic. I had to look at my work from a different angle, note any plot holes, and sometimes delete entire paragraphs. Once I was finished marking up my draft, I had to sit back down and rework it. I spent another hour and a half fixing any mistakes and rewording choppy sentences. I finished sometime after midnight and I had never felt more proud of anything. I eagerly submitted it to the contest then emailed a PDF version to a friend who wanted to read it.
It’s been a while since I worked that hard on a story. I feel like the tight deadline added some stress to my writing process, but it also encouraged me to get it done. I couldn’t help but feel proud when I saw the finished version. I don’t know if it’s good enough for me to win the contest, but I know that I worked as hard as I could, and that’s good enough for me.