I've been thinking about writing this post for a while, and after seeing the resurgence of a lot of contests recently, I finally decided that this might be most relevant to discuss now. Share your own thoughts below.
It all goes back to after I wrote The Magician's Game. I spent a lot of time on it, and, even for not really being too long of a pasta, it was my longest story and (I think) still is. However, around then and after that, a bunch of contests began to explode here on the wiki.
Now, I'm not badmouthing contests. As a matter of fact, I've enjoyed writing for a couple of them, such as the one recently held by CrazyWords and (of course) Blacknumber's Freestyle Contest. However, I think they are starting to get a bit too out of hand and that if we don't start to tone down the number of contests, I'm not sure if this will positively affect any grand contests held in the future.
Anyway, back on topic, I went ahead and entered TheKoromo's Mythology Contest, mainly because it sounded pretty interesting.
However, after days of researching my topic and attempts to start writing, I simply couldn't do it. I was literally unable to write anything that I thought sounded good, and I ended up backing out of the contest. It took me about a month since The Magician's Game to be able to even write something I thought was quality or write past the first few sentences of a story.
That one doesn't get my point on contests across, but it will become much more relevant when I discuss the 2nd time this occurred.
So, I started writing again, but this time, I started entering some more contests. I submitted stories for quite a few and the experience was pretty similar to how I felt before The Magician's Game. However, eventually, for an entry in the finals of a contest (coincidentally, the sequel to The Magician's Game), I finished it and tried writing more.
Once again, I just couldn't seem to form anything right or really have a drive to write. Every now and then I would write stuff (I wrote a couple things on Humboldt's wiki), but they were mainly short pastas that took me days just to think of how they would even flow.
I actually tried entering a contest not too long ago, but because I couldn't think of how the story would flow, I actually ended up forgetting completely about it. I had ideas to write, I just couldn't get them to translate into a story properly, or sometimes at all.
I'm currently in that stage now, and hopefully the time I have recently spent writing reviews and this blog post will help me organize some thoughts and get me producing some content that doesn't take a whole month to create.
However, the reason this all ties back to contests is because of how these contests can affect somebody. I'm sure lots of people have the energy to constantly write and think of new ideas, and that is great for them. However, I'm afraid that with all these contests, the word "contest" won't really mean anything any more. People who can't constantly write would not only ignore them if they were already in/already burned-out from previous contests, but they simply wouldn't care.
In other words, the amount of contests and their overproduction of them could essentially lead to contests no longer being something special, meaningful, or even fun.
To sum it all up, I'm burnt-out with writing, I'm burnt-out with contests, and I probably won't be participating in any more contests for a good long while.