There is this poetry contest I was excited to enter. I had this wonderful idea for a poem and have been tweaking it for weeks now. As the deadline looms; however, I’ve found my enthusiasm waning and self-doubt rearing its ugly head. Does this happen to other writers? Have any of you decided to enter a contest or submit something to a publication only to experience these feelings? I keep telling myself that my work has just as much of a chance as anyone else. And I’ll never know unless I try and multiple other platitudes that sound as hollow as a ping-pong ball. Over the past few days, it’s been amazing how many ways I’ve found to not work on the poem. The deadline is October 1st, it’s creeping up so quickly and the apathy I’ve developed towards working on it has been astonishing. I want to put my writing out there. I want as many people as possible to see my work but I’m questioning my own work like it’s out to get me. I also know that a big part of being a writer is being able to handle rejection. Rationally I know how most of what I submit won’t be accepted. But it’s always that self-doubt isn’t it? That lingering fear of what I put forth won’t be good enough. The countdown continues and the poem remains unfinished. I’ll keep you posted on what happens.
You have nothing to lose by submitting! My stack of rejection letters are badges of honor! Honor that I had the guts to at least try! 🙂 Hang in there!
I also have a hard time making the decision to actually go ahead and hit the send/submit button and put myself out there.
You should definitely submit. Poetry is so subjective; if you don’t win I still wouldn’t see that as a failure (it might just be that your work doesn’t align with the judges’ current tastes, or maybe it was similar to a previous winner, or any one of a million other things that are completely out of your control).