I recently got an honorable mention in a writing contest. That was nice. I don’t think anyone from my field has won or gotten a mention in a few years. Actually, science writers in general seem to have an especially hard time in these competitions. Is that a product of lots and lots of english profs judging the papers? You decide! But, it’s an honor. The paper was nominated from my writing section in a science class, and then competed with other nominations (a few dozen in all, I think?). So, good times, I’ll take that $100 thank you very much. You just helped pay for my electrolysis. If only you knew.
When I was younger I thought I wrote really good short stories. Then I wrote some poetry, which I didn’t really like. My freshman teacher in high school was a nice guy, and he helped me try to submit some of the work in a writing publication for high school juniors and seniors. They kept some of the poetry and I got a nice letter in the mail and a copy of the magazine. From then on I submitted more stuff. Freshman year of college I got in some publication that named me one of the top 10 younger writers of the year. I didn’t submit much after that. Long story.
Junior year of university I took creative writing. I didn’t do well. I really tried, and I was indignant about sucking. How many other students in the class had been published? But, she was right, my writing was off. I’d stopped journaling, the only writing I was doing was science writing. Everything with a cite (Me, 2011). Creativity in ideas, not style. Who dreams of writing more like Gould?
That’s the reason I’m journaling, now. Yay for creativity. G-d knows I need it. My partner can watercolor, paint, sketch, and write poetry. I at least need to be able to write.