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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Why Can't I Submit?

Submit my writing that is. (My husband has a story all his own:-)

Submitting haunts me like the homework I know I should do, like the dirty apartment I just can't bring myself to start cleaning. I walk in the door, I look around, and I know that if I just put the magazines in the basket, if I just put the shoes in the closet, the apartment will be clean in no time. But to face the small task of submitting overwhelms me to the point of paralysis.

There's no good reason for it. It's not like it's a ton of work. The piece is already written, rewritten, and edited. The envelpe is already laying on my desk waiting for an address. The entry fee is already taken care of. All I need to do is simply print the story up, address the envelope, and send it off. So why oh why do I find everything else under the sun to do, like posting on my blog?!

This weekend I was walking with some friends. We were in the Crestline Mountians, north of San Bernadino, sucking in the gorgeous Fall air. Even there, the topic of submission managed to wind itself up the mountain and attack. A friend said, "You need to start submitting."
I said, "I know." And stepped on quietly, feeling the sticky breath of submission breathing down my neck. I have driven home today with that icky feeling that I'm avoiding something important.

What is this perversion? Why I can't I bring myself to it? I think about a college friend who worked tirelessly at submitting her work through out school. Spending money like it was a full-time job, with entry fees and postage. She's going to have a book published by Billy Collins. While I am so excited for her success, it doesn't motivate me as it should. On the contrary, the thought of submitting my work makes a cramp in my chest.

I don't think I can pull any pop psychology from this. Like I'm afraid of being rejected, or self-conscious about my work. (I don't think, anyway.) Maybe I need a therapist to read into this too. Why do we have a hard time doing any of the things we really want to do?

I've run from it too long. The weeks of avoiding it have piled up like a mass of crumpled papers, and I can't turn far enough away. That is why, I'm ending this blog right now! I'm going to print the story that is already up in Windows, place it in the big manila envelope sitting at the corner of my eyesight, and mail it off tomorrow.

But first I'm going to revise this post~


Blogger Marcia said...

Thanks for the gentle prodding! I've got some things I need to submit, too!

9:31 PM  
Anonymous christin said...

what publications are you submitting to? I DID manage to get my essay together last night. I'm going to pop it in the mail this afternoon. It's for a student writing contest held by Atlantic Monthly.

1:06 PM  
Blogger the benwahs said...

I'm holding the pom-poms... Go Christin! Go!

By the way, who is being published by Billy Collins? That is incredible!

1:43 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

hi christin. i stumbled upon this site from k. drury's listings. if i've put 2 and 2 together correctly i belive your father-in-law is a former professor of mine. props to you for pursuing writing. i don't know of any other young women who are.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Marcia said...

Mostly stuff for the Wesleyans, right now. I've got a children's book manuscript that Jim Watkins wants me to submit. (That's the exciting/scary one!) And I'm telling Caleb a serialized bedtime story that I hope will someday be a book.

What's the saying?--"Too many cooks stir the watched pots that never boil?"


3:24 PM  
Blogger Just a bit....... said...


7:49 PM  
Blogger Ichiban JWo said...

Hey Christin! This is Jess Wolbert (Spring Break 04). I came across your site from Erin Shively's blog! All is well here at the Wu. Senior year. I'll sure miss Erin while she's in Ireland. Hope all is well! :)

9:53 PM  
Blogger Beckwith said...

My name is Peter Beckwith, and I came to your site from Scott Wood's blog. I think I know your husband. Is he from Sussex? If it is you, Dwayne, email me at

5:47 AM  

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