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It's Not The Winning. It's The Taking Part.

by Clara Elizabeth Hamilton Orr about a month ago in advice

Just a quick little article on why you shouldn't be put off Vocal+ because you don't win the challenge

It's Not The Winning. It's The Taking Part.
Photo by Luke van Zyl on Unsplash

We all grew up with those phrases:

  • Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
  • You're rubber and I'm glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you.
  • And of course my personal favourite, it's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts.

In a previous article that you can find below, I talked about why writers should be using Vocal+ and I touched on my personal favourite childhood phrase because writers are creatives and creatives, including myself, can sometimes struggle with what they perceive to be rejection. If like me, you have entered one or more Vocal+ Challenges and found that your piece didn't place, you may be feeling disillusioned with your Vocal+ membership. Maybe you're even starting to think that only Bots actually 'win' these challenges and there is no hope for you.

Writing like anything, takes practise.

Entering Vocal+ challenges isn't just about winning, it's also about understanding your own technique. Writing isn't just about having the most copies of a book sold or the Pulitzer Prize. Writing is also about understanding how to remain sustainable. Vocal+ Challenges give writers the opportunity to learn how to incorporate their personal and original styles into directed topics. They teach writers how to use prompts and how to work within a specific brief while still thinking outside of the box.

I believe that any Vocal+ Challenge you enter or in fact any challenge you enter no matter what it is or where it comes from, you should always put your best foot forward and aim for the gold, but gold isn't everything. Experience really does count for a lot even though when you don't win it might feel disheartening.

Enter every challenge you can and write more articles besides. If you believe that you have something to contribute to a Vocal+ Challenge or to any of the Vocal Communities in general, then keep contributing. You will probably find as I have that the more you enter, both fact and fiction, the more your writing style and skill improves. I'm definitely a better writer now than I was when I entered my first challenge.

So, in short, keep submitting your work to Vocal+ and I will too. I'll keep an eye out for your entries if you keep an eye out for mine.

Clara Elizabeth Hamilton Orr
Clara Elizabeth Hamilton Orr
Read next: The Deception of Instagram
Clara Elizabeth Hamilton Orr

"I was always an unusual girl

My mother told me that I had a chameleon soul

No moral compass pointing due north

No fixed personality...

...With a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom"

-Lana Del Ray


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