2020-11-07 Schedules, Steps, and Submissions

I woke this morning just after 5am like damn.

My email in-box had a message from my husband, sent after I could literally not stay awake at 10pm and had gone to bed. In the email was an itinerary for our day today. Yes.. time slots filled in with activities so we can get the most out of our Saturday together.

He made a joke last night about this, but then actually spent time typing it and sending it after I was fast asleep. Good news for me that the first activity does not start until 8am. This gives me an hour or so to collect my own thoughts and get my treadmill time in.

With that, I’m predicting a high step count day. An hour now, “gym time” with him at 9:30, and then a hike at Neele Woods or Fontinelle Forest in the afternoon means a lot of walking. I might lobby for a bike ride too as I am sure I’ve got some power to convince him to alter the plan.

No kids today, which is super rare for a Saturday. Other things on the agenda include a discussion about budget, breakfast, getting take-out for dinner, snuggle time, and a movie (not exactly in that order). He did great! 🥰

Despite only getting 5 hours and 47 minutes sleep, I feel pretty dang good. But what’s on my mind?

Revisiting yesterday briefly, I held the good energy I felt in the morning almost all day. However, I ended up using that energy on research for submissions, revision, and submissions Instead of the stuff I said I was going to do. It’s so easy to get pulled into that endless sea.

I received another rejection and that was the jumping off point. I was like “I can’t let my numbers suffer, gotta hold steady.” Right??!! But it’s getting tougher to find viable places. There are no shortages of places to submit work, but opportunities “in the zone“ are becoming thin.

What’s in the zone? Well.. I’ve had a few wins, mostly with newer publishers or those whose approach is to push out a lot of content online, like daily. There have been some anthologies and that feels more noteworthy for some reason, even though Kate Gale said that frequent content online is where it’s at right now.

In any case, I feel like I need to start doing more research to find places where 1. My Writing “fits” and 2. The audience might be wider. 3. The publisher is established in the literary community.

Sure, I’ve been subbing to a few big-dog, long-shots all along, and all of those have been rejected, but there’s a middle ground I’m just not well versed in yet. This is where the research comes in. Scrolling through submittable and briefly glimpsing at websites just isn’t sufficient. Yesterday I started googling and doing some deeper reading.

Jim sees me sitting at the kitchen counter with a laptop and reminds me that publishing is a goal, but it’s not the only goal. It’s true, 3 years ago publishing was barely a thought in my head, not even a pipe dream except in quick snippets of thought when I would pick up a book or magazine laying on a coffee table or on a shelf at a bookstore.

It is curious that going through the process of getting an MFA has instilled this desire within me. Perhaps it’s that much of the conversation in that circle is about publishing, as that is many people’s goal or desire from the start. Whereas my goal was originally just to learn.

My response to Jim was that all the effort I’m spending right now is a good surrogate for the missing desire or ability to write new poems and stories. I’ve been experiencing a dry spell since early in the year. What with the wedding, the onset of the pandemic, and the fact that my fourth and final term in the program was focused entirely on revision. I haven’t been reading much of anything either which also hurts my productivity.

Then there’s all the other chaos in the world. One might think that that would create an atmosphere perfect for creativity, but it’s truly had me pretty beat down. And sitting at generative workshops via Zoom and not being able to come up with even a line is a serious bummer.

Anyway, I’ve wound my way all the way into the question of why with no way to wind myself back out again. I guess I’m just getting started.

However, it’s nearing 8 and I have a tight schedule today. 😉

The Saturday train is about to leave and I’ve gotta get on it!

Cheers to the 20k steps I’m gonna get today,
~Miss SugarCookie

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