Me, not so much. I only enter a couple of contest one of them being the TARA. It truly is one of the best around. I did say one of since I know that there are others that are quite good as well. :)
The thing about contest is you spend days, weeks, and okay even a month getting that first chapter tweaked and shinning. Your muse is sitting on your shoulder telling about what’s happening in the rest of her or his world. You won’t listen. You can’t listen. You’re busy with the first chapter.
That’s a whole lot of time not writing anything or much of anything forward in your wip. Your muse decides to go vacation. Trust me on this. You may have to beg to get her back. Once she hits the beach (that’s where mine likes to go)and starts drinking margarita’s, she’s a pain in the ass to get back.
Now you’ve got this brilliant first chapter. Not only could it final…it could WIN.
The editor who judged the finals loves and picks your baby to win. You scream, jump up and down, and do what all writers do. You eat some chocolate.
Then you get the news. The editor loves it so much she’s requesting the full. The FULL!!! WTF. You’ve been working so hard on the contest chapter that you don’t have the partial ready to go now much less the full.
Realization of the many sleepless nights that now must happen. And of yes, that’s for both you and your critique partner. You can’t send the editor the amazing final winning first chapter along with the rest of POS.
All the notes you’ve taken on POV, GMC, Hooks, and anything else you find in that stuffed file drawer are making you bleary eyed as you read until you fall asleep. Only to get up early, turn on the computer and start at it again.
And then you send. And then you wait all the while wondering if she’ll like the rest of the book as much as that perfect first chapter.
Then you do what all writers do. You eat some more chocolate. Maybe some wine to go with it this time.
So for me a couple of contest a year is all that I can do. I need the rest of my time writing forward.
What about you? Are you a contest diva? Do you love the rush of perfecting that first chapter within an inch of its life? Or are you like me. A couple of contest is all the time you can take away from your characters?