I feel great about everything I got done yesterday and I feel pretty good about what I accomplished today. It helps that work was fairly quiet the last two days. I only have 8 work days left until we get laid off for the “summer”. I’ll be “unemployed” for 6 weeks about. I’m both nervous about not working (I worked the summer weeks the last couple of years) and incredibly excited. I know I've mentioned this in the past but since it’s super close now, it’s real in a way it wasn’t previously.
I’ll need to clean up my desk but there won’t be a whole lot to that and I can do that next week. This week the managers are in a meeting in Chicago for several days so I don’t have to worry about my manager coming up behind me and asking questions about what I’m doing. Cleaning one's desk of old paperwork and organizing for when we come back from the summer is a perfectly acceptable thing to do on company time. Not that they’ll really breathe down my neck next week much. Not many people will still have schools in. I'll have a couple but most of mine are finishing up some time this week.
I’m rambling. I did get a good chunk of editing done today which was great. I read a book I’d been meaning to read that was due ano that couldn’t be renewed (someone else had it on hold) so that was great. Emily and I walked this morning which was also really nice.
So here’s where I’m running into trouble. I’m in these two online courses/workshops right now and they’re great but I’ve hit panic mode a little bit. I think my brain is doing a bit of self-sabotaging.
For one class, I need to produce a unique piece each week to have workshopped. It can be a blog post, a personal essay, a short story, a poem, or a chapter in a book but it’s due by Friday so that other people can have the opportunity to review and comment on it. I am looking forward to this. Next, that same course is also sponsoring a writing contest - the story needs to be written and posted by next Monday. It will be workshopped as well. Then we get to edit it and submit it by the 19th (or something like that). So you see, I have a piece due Friday, a piece due Monday, and some reviews today.
Now for the other class - it’s a class about submitting work to Literary Magazines (contests and grant writing type stuff too but mainly Literary Magazines). I’ve been going along doing my homework like a good little girl but here’s where I’ve gotten stuck. I need to have a piece that’s ready to be prepared for submission. That doesn’t mean it has to be perfect or anything, but it does mean that I have to have something to work on and I need to do that this week.
So I’m assuming you're starting to see how and why I’m feeling a little panicky. I do have some things written but most of them have a) already been submitted to a contest, 2) meant for my website once I get it up so that I have some posts to get me started, 3) something I consider terrible or just don’t like. With the exception of maybe one flash fiction piece. I’m just not sure about finding a place for it. Especially since it’s just a cute, silly story, and it takes place during winter. I just… I know there are loads of journals that accept flash fiction, but I don’t know. I may ask one of my friends to read it and see what they think. I hate to sound so needy but this is all feeling a little overwhelming. And of course if that thing doesn't work, I HAVE TO WRITE ANOTHER STORY.
I should mention that I do at least have a rough draft to submit for the story contest so I’ll probably do that tomorrow. Of course the thing with that story is that I like it but I’m not sure that I’ve really adhered to the prompt. We had several to choose from and I liked the one I picked a lot and I do like what I’ve written, but again I’m not sure that it fulfills the prompt. At the same time, there’s a limit of 1000 words for the story and if I were going to do everything I wanted to do, I’d probably end up with twice that. Not that I’d really need twice that, I’d just be having fun writing. I can get a little repetitive, I know this and I’m working on it.
I do have what could be the first chapter in a novel or novella written. The problem is I don’t have much of anything else for the story planned. The chapter itself came about by accident and I don’t know about submitting a chapter of a book I don’t know if I’ll write more of. At the same time, if it’s a start I might be able to make something of it. I mean, I feel a little lost when it comes to plotting things so that’s something I’ve been wanting to work on anyway so maybe this is the chance. I am a little nervous about submitting something to a group that has a lesbian as a main character though just because I don’t know anything about any of these people. At the same time, the world isn’t really queer friendly on a whole and I already know I want to write queer literature (emphasis on the queer, take “literature” with a grain of salt or just a whole canister) and I’m going to have to face whatever issues come with that eventually.
I may need to rename her - the main character in that not quite “chapter”. I’m not sure her name works. I’ll have to think on that too.
I’m going to have to start writing a story every other day so that I have enough to go around!
Friday night I’m going with a couple of the girls from work to see Wonder Woman and probably have dinner. I’m looking forward to it, but since my story has to be posted by midnight, I will need have whatever I’m submitting to them posted before I go so the movie. The managers will be back by then and we’re having a cookout so I have no idea what that day will be like. I may have plenty of time to work on these things, I may have none so I probably really need to post it by Thursday, just to be safe.
I know I’m just scared. I know I’m just worried that other people will be better than me. There will always be people out there better than me in some way or another. That’s the way the world works. And even if you’re on top for a while, there will always be someone who comes along to beat your record. That’s not only how the world works, but how it’s supposed to work. Expansion and growth and invention are a natural part of the world’s cycle. And just because someone else is better doesn’t mean there isn’t room for me too.
I needed to get some of this out because it was blocking me a little. I think I can approach things a little more calmly and rationally now. Wish me luck!