Item #1. I was feeling antsy about my decision to post a first draft of a story. Thought about reneging and editing it, cleaning up typos and awkward sentences. Just re-read it, though, and I'll let it stand.
What the hell, as a first draft it's fine.
Item #2. On Twitter, I saw the first announcements of another writing contest at Editor Unleashed. I recall the last contest over there as being a strange and oddly run affair. The topic for this one, "Why I Write", will surely bring out a great deal of purple prose, maudlin confessionals, angel-winged inspirationals and forced humor (from people trying to game the system).
Unlike the last contest, which was an open vote capped by a star chamber panel opinion and decision ultimately made by the E in C, this one will skip the public part entirely, and will be judged behind closed doors, as most contests are.
I'm not going to participate in this one. I write for reasons that are complicated, and I wouldn't be able to summarize them in a 750 word chunk that would win any awards.
The short version is that I feel joy when I write, I feel pride when I've written, and I'm thrilled when other people are moved by my writing. Writing is therapy, writing is love, writing is sharing, writing is connecting, writing is serenity and balance and peace and excitement and life.
All of which reasons are important, even critical to me.
But it's not something I can express in the kind of prose that other people would think very much of in a contest.
n.b. Update, Nov 10. The final rules were recently announced and do include a public voting of some kind.