March 09, 2005

out there

Stories went out Monday. One story to three places, another to three other places. Easy, it turns out. Just look up the literary magazines, read samples of the stories they publish, decide you like their sensibility, read their submission policy, take notes, look up more literary magazines, do the same. Divide the results into categories (this story goes here, that story might suit that place better). Print cover letters, label envelopes, affix SASEs to cover letters with colorful paperclips, double check that you're putting the right story/cover letter into the right envelope. Seal it all up and hand to spouse to run to post office. (Last step optional, depending on availability and mood of said spouse.) That wasn't so hard, was it?

But for some reason it was. It felt as terribly dreary, as horridly mind numbingly depressing, as preparing for our tax appointment. Why? It should be fun, shouldn't it? Should carry with it the promise of publication or at least more deliciously personal rejection letters. Should tantalize and tease, not depress.

I think it may have something to do with this: A friend and I were IMing yesterday about writing and having written. Fact is, once you've written and declared the manuscript complete and fully realized, you have to send your material out. And then it's no longer the idealized version of itself and you're no longer A Great Writer Nobody Knows About Yet. You're exposed, judged. And maybe you will be discovered, maybe everyone will love and devour your words, maybe you'll be the next (fill in the blank depending on genre of choice and preferred success measurement). Maybe so. Big risk, though, isn't it? That you won't be. Easier to be going to, to be on the verge of, to be about to find out than it is to actually, y'know, go ahead and risk it.

This, I think, explains that slogging through mud feeling. It's a tidal wave of emotional resistance. I did it anyway, though. And will do it again in April. And in May. And in June... and maybe at some point it'll get easier.

I'm thinking a few "yes!" responses along the way will help get me past this hump. But until then, doing it instead of talking about doing it, that helps too.

Posted by Tamar at March 9, 2005 10:40 PM | TrackBack

Well, congrats on getting stuff out. That's something to be proud of!

Posted by: Eve at March 10, 2005 12:40 PM

It takes a lot of courage to do what you just did. And now the pressure of knowing you have to do it is over (I know, replaced by the pressure of not knowing, but still - you've made progress). Congratulations.

Posted by: Donna at March 10, 2005 04:06 PM

Well, I made a lousy buddy: I don't even have the outlets picked. (I did 6 at the beginning of the year, does that count?) I'll consider myself officially inspired.

Posted by: Chris at March 10, 2005 05:19 PM
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