You Won. Write on!

Kathy Gerstorff
Nov 17 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Me at Mounds State Park Sticking My Tongue Out at My Inner Bully!

When was the last time you were at inbox zero? It has been a while for me. I have over 17k emails. Every once in a while I scroll through deleting a few hundred, but it seems a never ending task.

I finally worked my way to emails from the first of November and noticed one from the Poetry Society of Indiana, notifying me that I placed in their annual nationwide poetry contest.

I forgot about entering the contest. My mind is like a fast moving train. I write and move on. Often when I read what I wrote months or years later, it’s like reading someone else’s writing. That’s how I know I am a vessel for my muse.

I love when my muse shows up for a writing sesh. It’s like talking with your best friend for hours that seems like seconds or a first date with your soulmate. Rare air. Cloud surfing. Glimpses of eternal happiness in momentary bliss.

When I opened the Winner’s List, my name was at the top for the Grand Prize award of $100. I’m pretty sure that is the most I have earned (so far) from writing!

I have entered several poetry contests over the past 30 years. It’s not for an ego boost and it’s not about the prize, it is for validation that my writing matters to someone other than me.

Often when I write, a negative and distracting voice, that developed around the same time as my boobs, pipes up to shut me down, with a series of lines like grooves in a worn out record:

“Who cares?”

“Nobody wants to read what you write.”

“There are so many better writers and poets than you.”

“Why do you even bother?”

“Writing is a waste of time!”

“Poetry is dead.”

“You will never make it as a writer.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“Wouldn’t you rather read?”

“What’s trending on YouTube?”

“Get a real job!”

On and on my inner bully taunts before and as I write. Steven Pressfield calls this “Resistance with a capital R.”

Well guess what happens when I place in a poetry contest? It’s like sticking my tongue out at that big bully and saying nah, nah, nah, nah. I won! The bully goes and sulks in the corner for a while.

Listen, oh listen… silence.

Do you know how precious silence is to the creative mind? To me, more precious than gold.

With the bully temporarily absent from the playground of my mind, the muse comes out to play, sometimes for the rest of the day!

Over the years I have learned that winning a writing contest isn’t necessary to silence my inner bully. All that’s needed is to write, submit, and publish. The more consistently I pursue my passion, the quieter the bully becomes. It is now a mere whisper. But,

I must take care to not ignore writing very long, else the bully once again grows strong.

Write on!

Writing about art and life!

Kathy Gerstorff

Written by

Indie Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Poet. Love all forms creativity. writerkat.com

WriterKats

Creative Content for Indie Authors, Wannabe Writers, and Cool Cats. Self-care for introverts, writing tips, quotes, poetry, short stories, legacy projects, book reviews, launch ideas, and info to help you stay healthy on your passion quest.

Kathy Gerstorff

Written by

Indie Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Poet. Love all forms creativity. writerkat.com

WriterKats

Creative Content for Indie Authors, Wannabe Writers, and Cool Cats. Self-care for introverts, writing tips, quotes, poetry, short stories, legacy projects, book reviews, launch ideas, and info to help you stay healthy on your passion quest.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store