Take a Chance on Popularity

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One of the most difficult things to do as a writer is to let your writing see the light of day. It's even difficult to let people close to you read something you've crafted, even when you know they'll tell you it's brilliant. But letting someone offer their opinion on it? Critique your writing? Suggest changes (heaven forbid)? It's not the easiest thing in the world.

Writers are sensitive people. Our writing is special to us because, well, it comes from us. We created it. [Insert metaphor about writer's being gods.] Personally, I squirm when anyone else reads my writing. I cringe when other people talk about it, even if they have something positive to say.

As unpleasant as letting someone else read your writing can be, it's an absolute necessity. For improvement. For growth. For...popularity?

Everyone knows the value that "an extra set of eyes" has when it comes to writing. That phrase was drilled into our brains, endlessly, as students. But it still holds truth today. Readers can help direct our focus by pointing out strengths and weaknesses.

Readers can also be a writer's biggest cheerleader. They might share your published work with their friends. And if you're not published, a reader might be the push in confidence you need to seek publication. This is why so many authors are a part of writing groups and circles, or have a friend, teacher, or confidant to share their work with.

So as nerve-wracking as letting someone else read your writing can be, it's a step that everyone goes through. And it can be rewarding, particularly when your piece is well-polished.

With just two weeks left to enter Writer's Digest's Popular Fiction Competition, now is the time to enter your best short story and let our judges discover your writing. Choose your favorite genre (science fiction, thriller, young adult fiction, romance, crime, or horror) and submit a story of 4,000 words or less, before October 15.

Winning will do more than just boost your confidence, it could be the start of something big. The Grand Prize includes a $2,500 cash prize and a trip to the 2013 Writer's Digest Conference in New York City. Your name will also appear on the subscriber's cover of Writer's Digest magazine, where you will be featured.

What do you have to lose? Our recent Grand Prize winner of the 82nd Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition had this to say about entering a competition: "I think the only reason I had the courage to submit ["Masks"] for Writer's Digest's competition was because I noticed there were multiple categories I could submit for and I figured, 'Well, maybe I'll get lucky and sneak my way into placing in [a] category.' Weeks after I got that first call saying I won the Grand Prize, I was kind of expecting someone to call me back and say, 'Sorry, we called the wrong person.' I was really stunned. For a few days, it was literally unbelievable. But it's been a huge wake up call, too. It's given me the energy and confidence to really try to get more work published."

Don't wait any longer! Take a chance on your writing and share it with us.

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