I don’t enter writing competitions because as an Author, I’m too busy writing.
Now that I summed up the “why” for you, let me explain further.
There was a day when bushy hair and a few extra pounds made me feel like the ugliest of all the ducklings. I’ll admit it, I sought acceptance. More than that, I was dreaming of the day that I would wear the proverbial crown. Then something magical happened. I came into my own. I grew taller, lost the weight and learned to tame my hair. I started to see life differently. I started to see myself differently, in that, I wasn’t out to impress anyone, my new goal was to love myself fully and completely.
When I wrote my first book, I was hesitant to let anyone read it but not for the reasons you might think. I was scared that my material would be reproduced. I was unaware that I was protected by copyright laws. At one point, I even mailed myself a hard copy version of the book (that was still written on 8 1/2 x 11 sized sheets of paper!) I was still that insecure, odd duck.
Then, one day, with a little coaxing from my husband, I published it (and ten more books after it). My new goal became to try and share the love as far and wide as possible. Residing in Ottawa, Canada, I don’t consider myself an “Ottawa Author”, I consider myself an Author, period. I want to conquer the world, so to speak, and not just a tiny corner of it. I write my words for everyone to have a chance to read them and enjoy them and take something from them that they can lock in their hearts, forever.
I am not in competition with anyone but myself. I tell myself to reach a certain goal and I do. I tell myself to tackle a new genre and I delve right in. In short, I’m an Author of words and not seeking acceptance, or the kind of popularity that comes with a crown, nor am I writing for the sake of writing to reach a financial goal. I am an Author just as a Brain Surgeon is a Doctor. The doctor’s only mission is to save lives. My only mission is to enrich them.
You might have noticed that I like to capitalize the word “Author”. That is because I consider it a title. Just as the Doctor has earned his M.D., I feel I’ve earned my title as someone serious about the art of word weaving.
A little healthy competition is acceptable, some might argue. I would clarify my stance and tell them, writing is tantamount to uphold my “title” and nary a competition can take that title away from me. I’m no less an Author if I win amongst my peers or lose, for the ugly duckling now reigns in a different realm – one where the quill defines the prize.
I do not know where I stand in the race of life, nor do I care. I am free to write and that is the greatest reward of all.
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Barbara Avon is a multi-genre Author. She has written since she was young, pursuing her dreams and vowing to write for as long as she can. She has worked at several different media publications and will continue to publish novels until “her pen runs dry”. In 2018 she won FACES Magazine’s “Best of Ottawa” award for female Author and Spillwords “Author of the Month”. She believes in paying it forward and you can read about this belief as the theme is given voice in most of her books. Avon lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, Danny, their tarantula, Betsy, and their houseplant, Romeo.