Can I admit that I did something stupid last week?
I actually pulled my finger out of my ass, tidied up a short story I’d written a few months ago and sent it off to a writing magazine. Not only did I commit to submitting my piece for the coming month’s competition, I also agreed for them to give me a critique on it. Cue me completely crapping myself for the next four weeks!
Some may call the submission brave, others may think me foolhardy for even contemplating that my work could stand up to the high standards of other more experienced writers (that would mainly be me and my rather large dose of self-doubt). Even now I am unsure of just what the hell compelled me to submit to the magazine in the first place. The fact remains that there is noting I can do about it now. My little chick has flown the nest and it remains to be scene whether she stays airborne or crashes to the ground in an ungainly heap….
I suppose that the time for post-mortems will come later, for now all I can do is sit back and pray that my short story won’t get torn apart by those critiquing it. If they do, well, I guess I’ll have a better idea of what I need to do to get something published in the future.
Someone once said that writing is damn hard work (or words to that effect) and I’ve come to realise on my own creative journey that no truer words have ever been spoken. Writing is spending day after day in front of your computer (or typewriter if you’re particularly old school), pulling your hair out in the hopes that some magical idea will spring forth as you gradually grow bald.
So what is it that compels us to subject ourselves to such sweet torture?
Well, if I had the answer to that one then I guess I’d be a very rich woman! I think I’ve remarked many times why it is that I write – mainly because it is not only something that I am compelled to do but also because my writing makes me feel as if I have a voice and one that can be heard.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in life, its to commit yourself to something with everything you’ve got. You only get one shot at this life and you never know when your chances will suddenly dry up on you. There’s no point in waiting for tomorrow to hand you something on a plate – you’ve got to get out there and grab it for yourself. If you’re going to do something you might as well throw the kitchen sink at it, that way you can hold your hands up and honestly say that you gave it your all.
Life is too sort for regrets and second guessing the choices that you might or might not have made. At least if you give it everything you have you know that you can hold your head up high with a clear conscience. We all make mistakes and it is that which makes us human. You’re going to get things wrong, fall at the first hurdle and even end up making a complete prat of yourself, yet none of those things can compare to not giving it your all – that truly is the biggest mistake you could ever make.
Submitting your work for publication is rather like pulling your pants down in front of a room full of people and asking them to judge your rear end. It takes courage (and perhaps a rather large dose of stupidity) to subject yourself to that, but if you don’t try then you ain’t ever gonna know, so you might as well commit and do it with all your heart. After all, Vincent Van Gogh didn’t do too badly for himself did he?