SOME would say I live a safe life.
I have a stressful day job, a stressed-out family life and a very old dog (she will die soon so expect grief-stricken post).
What’s more, I live in the suburbs and head to the coast for the holidays.
But when it comes to writing for contests, I have inadvertently become a risk taker by leaving ABSOLUTELY everything to the last minute.
I don’t know what it is inside my weird head that puts me into go-slow mode the second I commit to entering a competition (expect a post on procrastination).
But the end result is pandemonium in my brain, which led me (too late) to the conclusion that I should have consulted a beta reader right from the start.
I started my short story for the Romance Writers of Australia Little Gems 2018 contest about a week out from the deadline.
The day before entries were due I set about writing the last 1000 words of my 3000-word story. I bashed it out in true pantser style, making it up as I went along.
On deadline day, which fell on a Monday so I had to go to work, I sent a missive to a writerly friend to inform her of my utter stupidity.
My mistake. She offered to beta read my story.
I got the story to her that night after work and she sent back her edits in two lots.
I started on the edits around 9.30pm, thinking I would cruise to the midnight deadline.
At 11.45pm, I was frantically attempting to format the hastily finished product and in a haze of exhaustion I whizzed it off with payment, signed forms, etc, by 11.56pm.
I don’t know why I do this to myself. Bonkers.
My beta reader’s keen eye picked up heaps of silly little mistakes and problems around structure.
If I had started to write the story earlier and given myself and my beta reader the time to iron out all the issues, the result would have been a more refined product.