I eased myself down from that emotional spike. I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel but I couldn’t find it right away. I deployed my mindfulness techniques that I’ve learned within the last year and I got back to where I needed to be. It’s not perfectly perfect but it’s good enough for now. I made these grand plans to get out and enjoy this summer, but I’ve been super unmotivated. Coupled with drama from all sides, all I wanted to do was hide. But I think I’m in a better frame of mind now.
I do have some exciting writerly news to report. I’ve been cracking down on staying on top of submission deadlines for literary publications. It’s time to start racking up those publishing credits. That’s what will get my name out there. You never know who is reading your work… unless you actually submit. I’ve got my cheering section boosting me up, and they have been for years. I believe(d) them but I didn’t believe in myself. It’s one thing to hear it from the outside but the only person who can affect change within yourself is yourself. Going through my program and meeting other professional writers reassured me that being a writer is going to be tough. But I am the kind of person who thrives on challenges. Took me a long time to accept that aspect of me. I’m glad I did. Otherwise I would not be where I am today.
I’ve got a whole process for putting submission dates into my Google Calendar, because I have the memory of a sieve. If it’s not in my phone with an alarm, I will forget. Which sucks, but that’s smart phone addiction for you. I have the notification set for 1 week before, to give me time to revise whatever piece I planned to submit.
What I normally do is what I call “pre-research” publications: suss out their submissions page, see if they have a contest and get as much info as I can. If I think I have something in my wheelhouse that will vibe with them, I put it in my Calendar. If not, I move onto to the next. I have a template that I’ve modified as I’ve done this pre-research. If you’re a writer looking to submit, I suggest using it yourself, or modifying it to fit your needs:
I submitted 3 flash fiction pieces from “Last Exit to Vegas” to a small, local literary magazine in Vegas called Helen. I figured it was time to test the waters with stuff from “Last Exit.” I am happy to report that “Red Rock Canyon” will be published on their blog for their “Friday Night Specials” series. They offered to pay me a small fee, but because they’re relatively new, I reverted it back to them to help pay for daily operations. If I learned anything from AWP, it’s that literary magazines are expensive. I know you’re not supposed to give your stuff away for free, but maybe for my first few submissions, I’ll take the exposure.
Celebrate those little victories, man, celebrate ’em!