Is showing that you’ve resisted
The temptation to jack it all in
When rejections are all that come in
You’ve kept going, you’ve persisted!
The above says it all. Being short-listed boosts your confidence. I wish I could bottle that feeling of achievement and how good it makes you feel as a writer, it’d sell by the million! It’s also good to put on the writing CV! Want to write better? Write more! Try different forms. I’ve found writing short stories with a tight word count has led to my writing my Brenebourne series in a tighter fashion, which will reduce the word count there (never a bad thing as I overwrite) and I’ve found my narrative pace has picked up too.
The writing game is frustrating and long.
Everything you send out seems to be wrong.
Rejections - oh so many! And
Acceptances - oh so few! And
Keep your chin up, persistence pays, be strong.
Oh so true! And when successes come, such as being shortlisted, it will mean more. Writing is one of the few professions I can think of where failure is expected, where you can learn so much from it and then go on, hopefully, to get your work out there. After all surgeons aren’t “allowed” to fail.
Vary your writing and experiment with what you want to do. I started off just writing novels but now love writing short stories and scripts too. It can be useful to have smaller pieces of work to send out whilst you’re working on a longer item - if these shorter pieces can get published and earn you something, then great and it’s something for the CV. If not, writing short story hones your other writing skills (writing to a deadline, sticking to a theme for themed competitions) and to a word count. Short stories are the best way I know of to “write tight”.