August 2016

The Honeymoon Phase

I hate writing, I love having written.   —Dorothy Parker

Every story, every book begins brilliantly. Words flow onto the page without effort and man, do they sing. This is the part of writing I love. The writing. The first echoes of what is taking up space in my head and begging to get on the page. This is the honeymoon phase.

The honeymoon phase is that time in your writing before it sucks, when you are in love with writing, in love with what you are working on, in love with your idea. It is blissful. It is short-lived. With short stories it seems to last as long as it takes me to get a first draft written. With my novel-in-progress it ended about halfway through the first draft. Sit with things too long and they lose their flavor. Familiarity and all that.

After the honeymoon, well, there is the assurance that you are a fraud and nobody, even your mother, will want to read the dreck that ended up on the page—and you have no idea how it did. This is most certainly not what you wrote. You have no idea where the hell that went, but it was so good. Somewhere in the night the writing faeries must have broken in to your computer and bolloxed everything up.

This is when it goes on the shelf. The drawer. That folder on your desktop full of wonderful beginnings gone wrong.

Then, when the proper time has passed (a few weeks for me), you open it again and find that the faeries have come back and it it’s not half bad if you do say so yourself. It’s not the masterpiece you wrote, but it’s a good start.

And then you get to work. The editing. The beta readers. The crushing doubt. In the end you won’t have a clue what you have, but there it is.

That’s this life.

The Big D


D is for didn’t. We didn’t intend to pick up and move just yet.

D is for Dallas. This is where we are now.

D is for doubt. I’ve completed a story that I’ve been working on and I’m ready to submit it. In theory. In fact, I am thinking that it might not be good enough. that it will never be good enough. But I have committed myself to submitting enough to get rejected at least 50 times. That might only take 50 submissions at this point, but once I get there I’ll tack on more to my goal. This could go on for a while.

What if I reach 100 rejections with not one acceptance? I can’t think about that right now. It’s too devastating. Devastating to the point that it would make me consider stopping all together.

There are two more stories on deck and a third that I might consider submitting. If I submit each of the four stories to three different journals, that would be 12 rejections. Less than half of my goal. Can my ego take that?

Do I have a choice?

Photo by Karyn Christner

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