New Year. New Ideas. New Resolutions. We've all been there. And then something happens. Or, more accurately, nothing happens. We make too many promises to ourselves and then get paralyzed. Well, that's one of my resolutions — to decide what comes first and what can go. In terms of writing, my next novel, is a priority. So is taking small breaks to do other kinds of writing and even enter a contest or two. It's a great way to keep the writing muscles flexed and I highly recommend it.
One competition I entered last year is the 2008 Writers Digest Annual Writing Competition. I submitted two feature articles and both took honorable mention, ranking in the top 100; one came in at 32 and the other at 95. In total, there were over 17,500 entries across several genres, so I'm proud of my ranking. And the certificates make me smile on those gloomy writers-block days. Several years ago, I ranked #14 in the personal essay genre. It all adds to the whole and lets you put "award winning author" next to your name.
Give it a try as you work on your other pieces. Write something fresh. Send it into a contest. And then go back to your priority project. You'll be surprised at how one piece feeds into the other and keeps those writing wheels turning. Happy New Year.