I've entered my first writing contest! The city I live in has a yearly writing contest, and I thought this contest would be the second vehicle to my professional writing career. The first vehicle is obviously this blog where I'm making a whooping $0/hour writing it.
Ok, yeah, I'm maybe not a professional writer yet since I'm not making any money and the contest I entered is kudos based only (to me professional writer means you get paid for your writing). Still, it is thrilling for me, an engineer whose every English teacher said I had (lots of) room for improvement in my writing. And I totally need spell check (I know a lot of engineers who do) in everything I write, even text messages.
I entered the non-Fiction category of the contest, and I submitted a (what I think is) funny, first narrative about getting my ears pierced. I'm not hoping to win first place, but an honorable mention would be great. It will help to establish some credentials-- according to my "Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market 2016" book (a thoughtful gift from a very supportive friend), writing contests, children magazines, and educational reading books (think of Encyclopedia Britannica and National Geographic publishing books for grade school) are a great way to get some experience and credentials on your writer's resume. Apparently you'll grab the eye of an editor if you write about Snails around The World, Educating Children on Snails. Sure.
Here I am as an illustration (get it/groan) with my CWIM 2016 Book
So yeah, anyway, I'm excited to enter my first writing contest, and it was so much fun to write the narrative. I am getting so much joy out of this "second job" (I'm sure in 11 years, I'll be burnt out on this job/career too, but that's 11 years from now, no worries now)! So much so that I want to encourage those of you who are unhappy in your current work situation to take a risk and change jobs/careers; happiness is so worth that risk.
I know, I know, I know. I say this as someone who still has a part time engineering job to soften the any financial blow, but I made this plan (with my family of course), and I'm such a big slacker and procrastinator (ask those who know me well), so if I can make a plan to switch jobs, then you can too!
Next up on the path to becoming a professional writer is the query letter to editors/agents. I'm sure there'll be lots of rejection; good thing I'm used to being called a nerd and not being picked first for kickball. I can't wait to share how query letters go with you all! Fingers crossed!