I love writing contests.
I know some people find them to be a distraction from their *real work* but this exactly describes why I love them.
They are a distraction, disguised as real work, with the prospect of someone telling me I have done well! Sometimes the prizes are tangible things, too, not just praise!
Contests are writing prompts done in communities. Sometimes they are really different from what I usually write, and that makes them challenging. This is good for me. I love my comfort zones (as, er, the name would suggest), and I need a nudge to make those creative neurons fire in new ways.
Contests are pure fun. They are for playing, trying new things without risk but with a small audience.
Besides, who doesn’t need a few more deadlines in life?