Working on Two Different Tracks

Does entering a competition make you a bit anxious?

How about doing something that doesn’t come naturally?

If so, you’ve got company.

Blog Photo - Hill Spirits III Book cover

Before the public Writing Competition is launched each time, Spirit of the Hills members are invited to submit up to 3 pieces for the Hill Spirits Anthology — with no guarantees of being selected.  Author Michael Croucher entered his work, then returned to his regular writing.  It should have been easy….


WE Writers go a little strange with our thinking after we’ve pushed a ‘Submit’ button. 

I submitted 3 short stories to the Hill Spirits IV Anthology. 

I really like the stories I submitted. Of course I do; I wrote them. They’re my babies. So, like everyone who submitted entries, I crossed  my fingers and hoped, maybe prayed a little …  Prayed they’d  choose them all.  Or take two if they didn’t want three. Or … For Pete’s sake, let them pick at least one!

I took some deep breaths and gradually returned to my regular writing schedule.

Blog Photo - SOTH Michael Bravo's Veil

Time to focus on my works in progress: a third novel and some more short stories. That sounds simple. Doesn’t it?

When I’m writing, I’m usually fully into the work. However, this year, from time to time, I’m distracted, involved in a challenging  and important non-writing project that often creeps, or slams, into my thoughts. Here’s how that project came into my life.

Last year I joined the Spirit of the Hills writers’ group, part of The Spirit of the Hills Arts Association.

Blog Photo - SOTH Writers Booth

The association consists of over 160 talented artists and artisans from various creative disciplines. These energetic people are all based in or near beautiful Northumberland County, east of Toronto.

Blog Photo - SOTH Farm and Fields by P Calder

Blog Photo - SOTH Street Credit M-L Hammond
Credit: Marie-Lynn Hammond
Blog Photo - SOTH Beach Photo by Peggy Dymond Leavy
Credit: Peggy Dymond Leavey

A year after joining SOTH, I found myself in the role of Sponsorship Director for the Festival of the Arts. I’m charged with overseeing our efforts to raise funds for an event that is more ambitious this year, and is expected to attract more people.  

The program includes evenings of drama and dance, concerts by popular musicians, the launch of our Hill Spirits IV Anthology, an art show with painting demonstrations, a book fair with author readings, a multi-media program with video and music, workshops for students and adults, and a panel discussion on the theme “Sharing across the Arts”.  Our challenge is to attract enough sponsorship contributions to support the Festival and maintain its growth.  


No wonder my mind sometimes wanders away from the writing. You see, as creative people, we are not generally born canvassers, or marketers. It’s something we have to learn and work really hard at. 

Thankfully, I know that creative types can multi-task.  We can do what needs to be done, and get back to our creations.

I’m reassured by two other things. First, the sponsorship campaign target is a stretch, but it’s doable. And second, I’m fortunate that the other committee members have been through this same challenge before and are eager to help.

I’m also grateful that creative types are persistent people, and that I’m not prone to chewing my finger nails.  I’m not prone to sleepless nights either.

But I’ll keep you posted.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. kimaubrey says:

    Nice post, Mike! Good luck with your entries!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Kim, for replying to Michael. We wish him luck with Sponsorship for the Festival too! The dedication of SOTH members in planning and supporting the Festival is a joy to see!


  2. ronaldmackay says:

    Competent people rise to the top, Michael! We’ll check your fingernails at the next meeting of the Writers Group! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mikecroucher says:

      Thank you, Ron. I’ll make sure to scrub my fingernails before the meeting.


  3. felicity936 says:

    Great post Michael!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Felicity, great reply to Michael!


    2. mikecroucher says:

      Thank you, Felicity.


  4. dmwauthor says:

    Thank you for taking on the responsibilities on top of creating Michael. I look forward to reading your story and/or stories.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. mikecroucher says:

    Thank you, Donna.


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