Be a Buccaneer of a Writer

Many years ago, while teaching English at the Center for Interamerican Studies in Cuenca, Ecuador, I stumbled upon the very popular website, One Stop English, a Macmillan Publishers — now, MacMillan Education — website that provided and still provides a wealth of resources for TEFL/TESL/TESOL teachers. They also happened to be advertising for their International ELT Poetry Contest which concerned itself with the various experiences of English language teachers around the world.

I remember thinking that I had no chance of winning it, but feeling bold I wrote a poem anyway, submitted it — and won! How that happened exactly remains to this day a great mystery to me but happen it did.

You never know when or where you might find a personal writing victory, but you have to submit your work to get that shot.

Don’t mentally hijack yourself out of the opportunity to present your work to people who might actually like it! If you lack confidence in your work, be reckless and submit it anyway. Sometimes, we are our own worst critics — and of course, sometimes we are quite right about the quality of our work and sometimes we are indeed delusional. Try to be straight with yourself about the merits of your work, brace yourself for the very real possibility of rejection, don’t overthink it too much and then throw caution to the wind like a pirate boarding a ship and just send your work forth. Be a reckless, marauding, buccaneer of a writer and revel in it!

Yours truly,

The Editor