Oh dear, I’ve rather neglected this blog, haven’t I?… Well, a big part of that has been due to me being struck by a particularly nasty virus in the past couple of weeks and it still hasn’t completely gone away… Aside from a heavy cough and cold, a dense fog was also hanging over my head and seemed to be clogging up my brain – I found it really hard to concentrate on anything!
Not surprisingly then, very little writing got done and this poor blog has suffered too. Everytime I sat at my laptop, I just couldn’t find the motivation or inspiration to write more than a few lines and anything I did manage, felt laboured and clunky.
So bearing in mind that my imagination was experiencing what can only be described as a famine (sooo melodramatic!), deciding to become properly acquainted with Write Invite, may not have been the best idea. For those of you who don’t know, Write-Invite.com is a website which runs weekly competitions. Every Saturday at 5.30pm, members can log in from home, and write a story of their choice inspired by one of three given topics which change each week. You get thirty minutes, then you have to submit!
Each entry costs £4 (you can see the topics before you ‘commit’) and the prize for first place is £50. Three stories a week are shortlisted by the judge and everyone who’s joined in votes for their favourite and the one with the most votes takes the prize. The nice thing is that it’s all anonymous until after the voting is over.
I’ve known about these competitions for a while now as many of my friends in the writing community regularly take part. Always believing that I was too much of a ‘slow burner’ to do well in them, I was quite reluctant to have a try myself. But having done it twice in a row now, I have to say that I’m not only converted, but quite addicted too! And, guess what, doing Write Invite last Saturday helped clear the fog!
Something about the half hour timeslot quick-started my lagging inspiration and before I knew it, my fingers just wouldn’t stop typing! As it was my second try, I knew what to expect and was able to just write without feeling too self-conscious and worrying that every sentence was a load of rubbish. Since then, my brain has been teaming with ideas and I’ve also managed to get on with my novel. In fact, it’s hard to know what to do next!
And, the best thing is, that I got some recognition for my story this time too. Rob, who runs Write Invite sends an email out to everyone who has entered every Wednesday with a Judge’s Report and the three shortlisted stories. He also talks about what he liked in the top twenty stories and whilst I didn’t get a mention last week, tonight I learnt that my story came sixth! I’m delighted with this, and in a profession/hobby where feedback is often scarce and a long time coming, this fast turn around is especially welcome.
I can see I need some practice with putting a piece together so quickly. Both times I’ve tried it, I’ve realised too late that my stories have had a couple of typos (ouch!) but I think it’s a really good excercise to try. As a result of doing Write Invite, I now have two new ideas for flash fiction or possibly longer stories once they’re fleshed out. And of course I’m eternally grateful for being ‘unfogged!’
Good luck if you decide to have a go too 🙂