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The Year of Writing Dangerously

on January 14th, 2012 by Shannon

Something has shifted in my writing perspective, and I thought I’d share.  My story begins last year, when I penned a piece of flash about a reformed prostitute who keeps the cards of her former clients hidden in her recipe box. It was a story I loved, one of those that just bubbled up and came out, kind of like some sort of bodily fluid when you’re feeling under the weather. Only prettier and with more adjectives.

No one I knew liked it. No one I knew even understood it, which left me feeling inadequate and misunderstood. In other words, normal.  I finally sent it off to The Binnacle, for their Ultra-Short Competition, because the deadline was looming and I really love the little box and business cards they print your story on if you are lucky enough to be selected.

Imagine my shock, when not only was I selected, but I won a prize. And not only did they pay me, publish my work, and send me beautiful words of flattery, they nominated me for a Pushcart Prize.

All because of this one little story that I almost didn’t send them.  

Which brings me to my vow this year. I am going to write dangerously. I am going to write words with meaning, stories that I’ve put off because they might be off-putting. Then I’m going to send them out in the hopes that they get accepted and printed and offend someone I’ll never meet. And if they don’t, not only will I embrace rejection, I will buy it dinner and kiss it good night! I am going to do all the things that scare me, and I am going to enjoy every minute of it.

I’ve started by submitting to Broken Pencil’s Deathmatch 2012. They pit eight stories against one another in a no-holds-barred online voting competition, with only one story surviving until the end. To paraphrase their website, it’s like literary survivor on an island surrounded by sharks.

I have not yet heard if I’ve made the cut, and I’m not sure what scares me more – being selected for the competition or being rejected.

 Either way, I’m terrified, so I must be doing something right.

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Posted in Contests, Writing

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