I say ‘writers’. I mean me.
I actually met a deadline and submitted a story to a short story competition. Yay! Whoo hoo. Streamers. Party Poppers. Fireworks. Unicorns. Balloons. Kittens. Somebody buy me a grand piano. Hubby? Are you listening? Hello?
I’ve known about the comp for four months so obviously I wasted the first two waiting for an epiphany. I then stabbed about with words, snubbed ideas and then ended up adapting a writing prompt for the purpose.
When Draft 1 was ready and formulated for my Beta Readers, I still had four weeks to go! But from there I dawdled. And procrastinated. And dithered. And stabbed the occasional word. Until this week when the looming deadline kicked in.
And this is how I played it:
I sat at my computer and started fiddling with my hair. I got a hairclip. I sat back down and wrote something. A sentence. A word. I thought a bit more and then I’d go make a cup of tea. And I thought and I started fiddling with that piece of hair that. Just .Won’t. Quite. Reach. And I’d go get a bobby-pin. I then thought some more and a whole heap of words rushed out without much sense to them. And I mashed them into something remotely coherent. And my tea got cold.
My God, is this as painful as it sounds? Probably not quite. I’ve learnt to get a hairclip and a bobby-pin at the same time. And I never had an idealised vision of what it would be like to write, it’s pretty much as I thought it would be. There’s that stubborn part of me that craves perfection – not that perfection exists – I just get a sense of satisfaction from word churning.
Admittedly, last night I hit pre-fection. That part of my editing process where everything I wrote before appears better than what I’m writing now. I decided I should probably try sleeping. Which I did. And while nodding off, I restructured my story and found it was a lot less awful this morning. I knuckled down and had it submitted by 3pm.
I won’t think about it now. It’s the first short story I’ve written for an eternity and I shan’t give it another thought. I will not win this comp, I will not be a finalist. I’m OK with that.
But I submitted a story today. In my mind, that is a win.