Monday 4 February 2013

When you lose your comping mojo

You may be a really keen comper, you may devote all your spare time to it, or you may dip in and out and just enter one or two competitions a week. Whatever type of comper you are, there may come a day when you settle down to enter some competitions and think "I really can't be bothered". And when that happens, how do you get your mojo back?

First of all, take a break. Go out and get some fresh air, have a cup of tea, phone a friend or read a book for a while. It may be a passing phase, and clearing your head and not thinking about competitions might have you back in the mood in as little as a few minutes.

But if it goes on for longer than that, ask yourself  WHY you don't feel like comping. Until you know why, you won't know what to do about it. If you really can't work out why, try all of these ideas one at a time until you find one that works for you.

I've not won anything for ages so it seems pointless

A losing streak can be very disheartening, but don't forget the laws  of chance and randomness are very strange thing, and your next win may be just around the corner. And this time it could be a biggie! You may feel as if you'll never win anything again, but in fact the only way you can make sure that happens is to give up. There are lots of ideas for ways to start winning again in my post How To Bring The Comping Fairy Back.

It's all so boooooooring

Some kinds of comping can be pretty boring. Different things appeal to different people, of course, but a lot of it is very mechanical and repetitive - "liking and sharing" on Facebook, Retweeting on Twitter, filling in web forms with just your name and email address, writing your name and address on postcards and texting almost anything!

Set those comps aside to do at times when you are in the mood for a mindless task. Maybe when you first wake up in the morning, when you are curled up on the sofa half-watching an undemanding TV programme or when you're not feeling well.

Instead look around for something more interactive to stimulate your mind - creative competitions such  as tiebreakers, photography competitions and video competitions spring to mind, but also how about looking around some blogs and entering the competitions on them? Many of them use  a Rafflecopter widget which often requires a bit more interaction from you, asking you to comment on a blog or look around a promoter's website, and the blogs will usually have interesting articles to read too. If blogs aren't for you, what about popping over to Pinterest to see what takes your fancy? I've got a new post about Pinterest in the pipeline, but in the meantime here's my original post about comping on Pinterest

It's all too difficult

Just the opposite of the one above! Are you trying TOO hard to be creative or to find more challenging competitions to enter? Perhaps going through the list of "boring" ways to comp, above, but replacing the word "boring" in your mind with the word "simple" would make a refreshing change?

I haven't got time, I can't keep up!

Get off that hamster wheel! Comping is a hobby, it should never be a duty, and trying to enter everything, to keep up with everything posted on your favourite site or forum, everything you see shared on Twitter or Facebook, can be time consuming and even stressful. Don't let it stress you, simply STOP! Let some of the competitions go unentered - calm down, take a  few deep breaths and start again at your own pace, without trying to compare your comping output to anyone else's. I know many of you find my mantra "Enter less, win more" hard to believe, but it works for me. I think it's because silly little mistakes can creep in when you are rushed or overtired. Comping calmly at your own speed may mean you don't have time to enter as many competitions, but your entries are more likely to be correct - and only correct ones make it into the hat!

If you really don't have any time at all, maybe because of work or family pressures, the beauty of comping is that you can take a few days, weeks or even years off and still easily come back to it.

I need inspiration

Now this is where I need to bring in a huge plug for Grape Vine. Every month the magazine contains a Winners List  - readers who have won prizes worth £500 or more write in and are listed in the magazine, usually on the front cover (and have an entry into a draw for every time they are listed). I am told over and over again how motivating people find that list, either spurring them on to try to get on the list themselves, or just feeling happy for the winners and reminding them that even in a lean spell there are lovely prizes out there waiting to be won.

As well as the winners list, of course, Grape Vine brings you lot of new competitions of all types to enter. And having the magazine pop through your letterbox at the start of the month and the update into your inbox in the middle of the month can in itself be inspiring.

Details of how to subscribe can be found at the top of the blog.

It's such a solitary hobby

It really doesn't need to be. In fact it can be a wonderfully friendly hobby. I've been a comper for *gulp* 28 years now, and almost all of my real life friends are people I first met through comping, even if these days we chat about almost everything else under the sun when we meet up. Try joining a comping forum - almost all of them have off-topic chatter threads - or introducing yourself to some of the compers on Facebook and Twitter. Or go to a club - you'll find a list of about a dozen comping clubs in places all over the UK on the inside back cover of almost every issue of Grape Vine.

Finally, if it is still no fun, maybe it isn't the right hobby for you, either just not suiting you at the moment or really not for you at all. Not everyone enjoys it, even though some of us love it passionately. Try doing something else and see if you miss it. If you do, then it will be simple enough to come back and take it up again.

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