Early in the year, when the possibilities of 2014 were still crisp, I set a writing goal. Well, maybe more of a submission goal. At any rate, the ultimate goal for this year is to submit a dozen pieces to literary journals and any other worthwhile venues.
A dozen. 12. One per month. It’s a feasible goal, one that shouldn’t be so hard to meet. I even gave myself some leeway in that the submissions don’t have to be new stories. Technically, I suppose I could submit one piece to a dozen different places and call it a day, but I’m trying to keep true to myself and my work. Each piece deserves a chance, after all.
I’ve submitted three pieces so far, and as I wait (patiently? No. There’s nothing patient about waiting for the fate of your work), I could be working on a new story or editing an existing piece, but I’m stuck in some sort of limbo between writer’s block and drowning hope.
You see, I’ve written one story in three months. One. And that poor story is fastened to my clipboard, marked up until hell wouldn’t have it, just waiting for me to return and mold it into something possibly publishable.
Meanwhile, in the mailbox, there’s still no sign of any response from the little darlings I’ve already sent marching out into the cruel world. Yes, I know these things take time, but there’s always that lingering hope that a piece will find it’s way to an editor who thinks it’s so amazing that he or she immediately bangs out an acceptance letter and overnights it. It’s hope, after all. It doesn’t have to be rooted in reality.
Instead of said acceptance letter, I find advertisements from insurance and internet companies, sales circulars for furniture I wouldn’t dare afford, and, of course, the plague known as bills.
Admittedly, I’m searching the world around me for story ideas at every turn. It’s not that I don’t see anything worth writing about, it’s just that anytime I try, the words fall flat and meaningless, as if I’m writing in an entirely new language that no one understands. I could probably write one word repeatedly and end up with the same effect as my latest attempts at creating something new. Where’s the vitality?
So, as I continue to cull through junk mail and bills, I’ll keep floundering to put words on paper that resemble some sort of art, even if that art is kindergarten grade. Something decent has to manifest itself from these squiggly lines at some point.
I bet if I tilted my head and squinted my left eye, I’d at least see a dog with a bone in the ink splatters.
Wonder if he’ll share?
Live. Love. Write.