Ok, so I gave in and decided to write the short story for the Writer's Digest Competition. I don't think I really ever had a choice. This character's story has been in my mind for about a year and a half now just itching to get out. I actually feel a sense of relief that I'm getting it on paper.
I managed to write over 1300 words (out of the 4000 max) in what totaled to be about an hour and a half this weekend. I'm doing fairly well but I'm sure I will have to pare it down when I finish.
I can say that I have learned something from this experience though. I've never before written while trying to use as few words as possible. Writing a short story is certainly an exercise in brevity.
Assuming I have something worth submitting on May 6th, I will be entering the competition.