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A Message to the New Writers

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posted on Mar, 18 2017 @ 04:26 PM
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I remember entering the contests for the first time.. and 2nd and 3rd....
I was rubbish!
I "failed" miserably!
But, do you know what....?
I read all of the other entries.
I saw what "worked".
I began to understand...
I learned...
...and all of a sudden, I found myself writing better stuff. Not Great! but BETTER!

I was lucky enough to win my writer status and (even) a couple of contests.
I remember reading jacygirls posts, her stories... and being floored! Jacy is just AMAZING!
Then one day... she read mine!
...and she liked it so much, she "took her writer badge off and kicked it across the floor" because she felt that my story was so much better than hers????
My jaw dropped.
My heart leaped in the air!
HOW could this be possible????
I couldn't take it in.

There are 2 things at play here.
1) jacy is one of the nicest, most supportive and generous people that anyone could have the pleasure & privilege of meeting
and
2) On the back of her (and others) encouragement I had overcome my natural self-destructive, over critical analysis of what I was capable of and suddenly... I was a writer.
Not just an ATS title.... I felt like a writer. A REAL writer!

THAT is why I help out with the contests now.
I understand what a huge difference it can make to how you feel about yourself.
I understand how it can provide an avenue for getting your writing "out there" and the benefits of having dozens of other writers by your side as critics and fans!

Write, enter and learn!
See what works, listen!!

LISTEN!!!

The Short Story Forum and Contests are completely FREE, but you would struggle to get a better literary education ANYWHERE for any price!
The standard of writing here is EXCEPTIONAL.
The support, advice and assistance is 2nd to none.

Read the stories, write your own, listen to the comments and take your own writing to the next level!

YOU are why this works so well.
YOU are the fuel that keeps the fires burning.

I LOVE the writers contests and I feel very honoured to be a tiny part of the whole thing.
It was meeting true, original, and amazing awe-inspiring writers like jacy who got me writing in the first place.
(I read jacy's posts in The Shed thread here on ATS with my jaw on the floor!!)
I will NEVER be able to repay that debt, but I just want to say... give it a go!
You'll never know until you try.

I think I'll stop there!
G




posted on Mar, 18 2017 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: Gordi The Drummer

/thread

Seriously there's not much to follow that up with except to say, yeah. I've learned so much as a writer during my brief stint here with you guys, from reading peoples works to all the wonderful words of encouragement, as well as the general spirit we've got going here. I mean, its a competition- but it doesn't even feel like it, not really. Its a bunch of people, comparing their common craft, and lots of encouragement and praise all around because we know what it means to be a writer- all the highs and lows.

In keeping with the theme of encouragement, I just feel like adding- as a writer, as one who expresses worlds previously unimagined and gives birth to characters uniquely themselves- there's really no 'failing'. There's, how well you succeeded in translating. And then the bane of my existence, the run on sentence and other such grammatical errors.

So if you feel compelled to write- excellent work, welcome to the fold! You're in good company. Lets hone our skills together



posted on Mar, 18 2017 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: jacygirl

Is this thing over already?!? What ever will I put in my signature now!??

There are no participation trophies here! Us losers are LOSERS!! We suck at writing! We have to get over it now and NEVER write again!!!

Jk, I'm just bored AF!



posted on Mar, 19 2017 @ 05:10 AM
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a reply to: Gordi The Drummer

Geez Gordi...I am so completely humbled by such high praise from you (Master Word-Meister)...that I'm fumbling to find words to convey my gratitude and appreciation.

I started writing stories here for my own amusement, and I never expected anyone to think they were any good. Getting positive feedback was actually a shock. Finding out later that the compliments were coming from people who wrote (in my opinion) SO much better than me...? Well that was an incredible feeling!
The stars and flags meant nothing in comparison to having others say they enjoyed my story.

Like LucidWarrior said...the competitions don't feel like we're competing against each other because there is so much support within the group (of writers). We really do learn by reading each other's material, and the boost in self-esteem is priceless (because most of us think we write crap, lol).

Note to Wookiep...Don't be such a pessimist you realist!

Yeah, I know you're just kidding. I understand bored AF...turn it into a story (it can be cathartic).

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
jacy



posted on Mar, 19 2017 @ 06:03 AM
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a reply to: Gordi The Drummer

a reply to: jacygirl
Well, as usual, Gordi steals the show! (sorry Big G, should I be whispering?) LOL

It's very nice and kind of you to let the new (to the site) writers know that their efforts are appreciated and read with sincere interest. I think it's especially important ,at this moment, as writing one's thoughts, expression and ideas can be met with negativity.
I think that positivity certainly can counter that and writing as an outlet or a way to express one's innermost thoughts and ideas can be cathartic for the writer and the one receiving any message that the writer may be trying to convey.
I write to get it out of me. I am not always good at deep emotional conversations (except with my daughters, my most trusted companions) and my circle is small so my stories (not only bring them and I together in expression and something we enjoy) but, allow me to release jumbled and bottled up thoughts/emotions.
Yes, most of my crap poetry is from times when I was experiencing loss of love, or hope for an illness that seemed would never heal and the death of part of my heart, my Mother.
The support I received after opening oneself up so vulnerably was invaluable and will not be forgotten. Just the thought that perhaps something I've written may have stirred something within someone else, whom I may never see with my eyes, across the country or on the other side of the world, perhaps, is amazing to me.
And when I feel that, myself, from a story idea or a poem someone has selected to write about or express their innermost thoughts it is no less amazing.
Anyway, long ramble to get around to saying thanks for saying what I'm sure the ones who have taken the leap of faith were thinking and expressing it so eloquently.

MORE...COFFEE...STAT!



posted on Mar, 19 2017 @ 06:23 AM
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originally posted by: TNMockingbird
a reply to: Gordi The Drummer

a reply to: jacygirl
Well, as usual, Gordi steals the show!



Seriously flopping around laughing at that opening line, because it was almost my opening line until I read his entire post!!


The rest of your reply was perfect, as usual.
"Cathartic?" Yes...I say that often.
I also feel the need to "get it out of me" at times...and I have nobody in my real life to have a deep and meaningful conversation with. (I was actually thinking of writing a thread on this very topic.)
If I am overwhelmed with grief or physical pain and alone...something needs to come out for me to feel the relief of that cathartic unburdening. Instead of whining about my real life issues, I tend to go to a fictional place that makes me happy...and I write about that instead.

I'm also amazed at the fact that something I've written has resonated with a stranger, halfway around the world. I know that certain songs are very meaningful to me, yet MY meaning is personal and in no way close to what the writer was referring to (usually also something personal to them).
That happens here with stories and threads too. Often it's how friendships begin.

Thank you so much for your wise and kind words! I know that you also support the writers and the contests and are a genuinely caring soul. (You'll always be Thelma to me!!)
jacy



posted on Mar, 19 2017 @ 03:49 PM
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What a wonderful thread! Most writer's, whether they are actually authors or just writing as a hobby can be quite modest and always criticizing their own works. Many people are intimidated by others, not realizing that they themselves have so much to offer with their writing endeavors.

It's ok to be critical of one's work and wanting to improve on it, but not to the point you don't feel it is even worthy of posting. Many have been surprised and pleased once they get their story out there. Never give up. Never surrender.



posted on Mar, 22 2017 @ 09:12 AM
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a reply to: jacygirl

Thank you for this thread! I ran across it yesterday evening, and because of it, I submitted my very first short story. Now, today after I re-read it, I am terrified how rubbish and rushed it is, as I was thinking I will run out of time, and if I could I would withdrawn immediately!

But thanks to your thread I won't even edit it, just leave it the way it is as a reminder that I can, I will do much better next time.

Now I am hungry for success!

Writers and authors of ATS you will hear from me again


Keep up your amazing works, all of you!

Thank you



posted on Mar, 22 2017 @ 09:23 AM
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a reply to: szino9

Too much editing, aside from editing for grammar (and even sometimes then), can take away from the core content.

I read it. I liked it. You should edit your post to share the link.
edit on 3/22/2017 by TarzanBeta because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2017 @ 09:52 AM
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a reply to: TarzanBeta

I am not sure how to do that. Promoting my story was not my intention anyway, but thank you for your kind words.

Also thanks for a new word I never used before "succinct".

As english is my second language, I had to google the meaning



posted on Mar, 22 2017 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: szino9

Go back to your story thread. Copy the full URL. Come back here and edit your post. There is an icon with a pencil. Click that. Then, at the top of your post, hit enter twice to add space. Place the cursor back at the top of the field, then click the icon with the arrow pointing northeast. Put the title of your thread in the field that comes up and hit Okay. Then in the second field, delete the pre-filled text (http://) and then paste into that field. Your URL will show up in the field. Then press Okay. Then go to beneath the form field and click "edit". Your post will be updated and the browser should automatically show you your updated post in the thread.

You're welcome for the new word, friend. Good job with English as your second language.



posted on Mar, 22 2017 @ 10:14 AM
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As a writer and a musician I received a great bit of advice many years ago:

If your happiness depends on what other people think, get ready to be disappointed. Be happy with your work. Do it because you want to express something, say something, knowing that one person will love it and another will hate it and understand that which one you meet is completely random. Take heart in the knowledge that if you have evoked an emotion from someone, good or bad, you have succeeded in your goal.

You could create the most beautiful piece of art on earth and think you are a failure if the one person you ask for an opinion is the one guy who doesn't get it. Don't fall in to that trap. Love your work and be happy with it. Enjoy what you do. Make it what YOU want it to be.

:-)



posted on Mar, 22 2017 @ 10:25 AM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Thank you for the advise!


Here is the link to the story then:

www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 22-3-2017 by szino9 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2017 @ 07:08 PM
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originally posted by: jacygirl
Hello you.


[TL: DR ,pfffttt! Couldn't say it with a straight face!
]

So we get 'applauses', and a pat on the back...the winner chooses the next theme.
That's a big responsibility because you need to think of something that will attract attention and stir those creative juices!


[condensed to save server space]

jacy



^^^^ right there! That is an awesome responsibility. To spend a few minutes thinking "What would the Island of Lost Toys like to write about this time around?"

to AugustusMasonicus for choosing a great topic!! Judging by the number of entries there are many who agree.

to all entrants!



posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: szino9

Hi szino9....I just read your story (and left a s&f and comment).
I laughed at your above line, "hungry for success"...hehe...
I would love to write something truly succinct, but at the moment I'm "hungry for donuts".
So glad you decided to take the plunge and flail around in the writing pool (with the rest of us).


TarzanBeta...You're a good soul to encourage other writers. We all seem to have the same issues about sharing our stories (meaning we all think we're crap!). I enjoy all the different styles and ideas that are so unique to each writer.


Vroomfondel...Great advice! Most of us write because we enjoy it, not because we expect anybody else to like it. Positive feedback helps of course, and it's wonderful to see so much support between members. I personally love seeing how each person tackles the story theme...no stories are ever alike.


TEOT...hahaha...The Island of Misfit Toys...such a lovely group of creative individuals (who luckily believe that "normal" is over-rated!).


I am really happy to see so many people participating in the contests.
What the world needs now, is love...and stories!! (and donuts...coffee....you know, writer stuff)
If I was in charge, you would ALL have "writer" status around here. (Good thing I'm not in charge...you'd all have unicorns and dragons and magical powers too!)
jacy



posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 08:22 AM
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a reply to: jacygirl

Out of all the skills I've acquired, my natural talent is to encourage others to hone and use their own talents.

That basically means that I have no talent other than to find talent and make sure it is trained and encouraged.

Kind of a bummer.



ETA - not only a bummer to me, but to others, too! Hah!
edit on 3/23/2017 by TarzanBeta because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 08:34 AM
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originally posted by: TarzanBeta
a reply to: jacygirl

Out of all the skills I've acquired, my natural talent is to encourage others to hone and use their own talents.


Lol...I can relate to that! I've always been supportive of others' endeavors...I'm not naturally competitive.

Sometimes, I feel like a bra (supporting boobs) hehe...

Other times I am the boob who requires support, so it all works out in the end.
jacy



posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: jacygirl

And I am still a better boob than I am a bra.




posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 01:24 PM
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a reply to: TarzanBeta

Hi.
I just came back and re-read this last page, and feel like I must clarify something.

I didn't mean anyone HERE is a 'boob'...I was referring to real life...and it was just a joke (a bad one at that).

How very much like me though, to start a thread giving loving support...only to end up feeling like I just insulted someone or stuck my foot in my mouth somehow!
(I'm such a true Sagittarius...sorry, lol)

*high fives all the other writers and temporarily feels less like a boob*
jacy



posted on Mar, 23 2017 @ 01:25 PM
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originally posted by: jacygirl
*high fives all the other writers and temporarily feels less like a boob*
jacy



I like to feel boobs. It's like a favorite hobby.



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