After a few mad last-minute tweaks, the new novel is now dispatched for competition. I would have liked to get an appraisal (and the associated editorial raking over hot coals) before doing this, but you never know when you might fluke a win.
This brings me to the point of this post. Competitions are strange beasts. As I writer I often find myself busting my arse to complete a work for the deadline only to watch the piece (and the entry fee) sail off into the sunset never to be heard from again.
For me, competitions are purely a shot in the dark on the off chance that you might have written a freaking masterpiece without realising it.
While I've had my successes (and I'm in no way complaining about them), I don't consider myself a "lucky" writer. I've been shortlisted, runner-upped, and notably mentioned, but nothing I've ever written has actually taken out an award. When I submit a manuscript for competition, the most I ever hope to achieve is making it past the first round.
So why bother?
I don't know. Why bother writing at all? The odds are stacked so heavily against succcess that considering a career in writing is becoming tantamount to seeking out a TAFE course in Superherodom. Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but certainly you feel at times hopelessly quixotic.
Writers write. And we write to be read. It's as simple as that. And when we complete a work, we send it out into the world for better or worse in the hope that somebody might want to read it, maybe lots of people. The process is fraught with anxiety, paranoia, wrong turns, missed opportunities, and frustrating dead ends. But sometimes, it works.