December 30, 2009

A Writer’s Resolution

Filed under: Posts — admin @ 6:21 pm

For five out of the last six New Years I have celebrated by running into the Ocean at midnight. I learned of this practice while living in Bahia, Brazil in 2003. There, people wear white, hang out on the beach, and at midnight they run into the waves. It’s pretty amazing. No promises to magically be better on the next day – just thankfulness for life and all of the joys it brings.

I’m not sure what I’ll do to welcome in 2010, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be near the Ocean. So, I’m reaching back to an old tradition (for me anyway) of outlining some goals that I would like to achieve in 2010. Instead of creating a list of ways to improve as a person (cuz that list is infinite), I’d like to focus on how I can improve as a writer. It’s one thing to lose weight and lessen my level of road rage from neon purple to yellow – but I’m trying to become a professional writer here. So here are my Writers New Year’s resolutions for 2010….what are yours?

1. The number of pages I write per day will outnumber the hours of television I watch (including news).

2. I will no longer be a super secret writer, I will speak proudly about what I’ve written and what I plan to write/produce to ANYONE who will listen.

3. I will read more… but I will not quantify more because I …. I um… I don’t feel like it.

4. I will submit my plays and poems to more workshops and magazines. At least one per month.

5. I will seek out a group of admirable and active writers to regularly share with and learn from.

Five is my favorite number so I’ll stop here. I’ll let you know in a few months how I’m doing. Feel free to hold my feet to the fire on this one.

Happy New Year!!

December 15, 2009

Submission

Filed under: Posts — admin @ 6:34 pm

Submission.

To women and wives this word may make your lips tighten. Don’t worry. That’s nothing compared to the reaction this word gets from writers. When an agent, theatre, publishing house, or writing contest is accepting submissions we literally split into three equally insane people. One gets super excited about the possibilities of another human actually reading their words. One gets instantly depressed remembering all of the ‘thanks but you suck’ post cards – yeah, they don’t even send letters anymore. And the third, the really really crazy one, starts pledging to do the undoable. Like, the deadline is one month away and they’re planning on writing a science fiction romance about Rachel Maddow and Glen Beck’s love affair. Submissions.

However they make us feel – submissions are necessary. At least that’s what I believe today. When I have to prepare a work for submission I take it seriously. This isn’t just a diary entry or some story that I may finish some day – this has to be a finished work that I am not ashamed to be associated with. This has to be good enough to win, or at least make one of the judges mumble ‘not bad’ as they throw it onto the slush pile. Also, preparing a submission keeps you sharp. You have to remember the correct, or current, format. You have to actually do what real writers do all the time. It’s good practice. Torture, yes, but also good practice.

Today, I submitted my play Boxes to a playwrights workshop. I love the 24 hours after you mail off an on time submission. I feel so freaking superior it is ridiculous. I say to myself: ‘Writing is no longer your hobby babe (yes, I call myself babe). It is your profession. Pretty soon they’ll read it, they’ll love it, and you will be on Oprah telling all of America how you hated getting those little post cards but now you have agents beating down your door. You are doing what it takes babe, you are on your way.’ That first 24 hours is awesome. The 7 months that follow suck.

But, today, I am still within that 24 hour range and I am writing to you from a place of positivity. I want to be a writer, I dream of seeing my books on book shelves and my plays on Broadway. That is my dream. So, when I come home from work, after putting my daughter to bed, I write. When I have a free moment on a random weekend, I write. And every now and then, I find an opportunity to submit my words to someone else. I say a prayer that they will receive it as it was given, I slap a stamp on it and I send it out. What else am I going to do?

I submitted something today and I feel good about it. Now, who’s coming with me??

Powered by WordPress