Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Write War #4

Today, I plunked my butt down at my desk and said, "Okay, Self, this is the day where you work on your submissions to the 2012 OWFI contest. For real."

Yes, I've been putting it off. There's something appealing and dangerous about re-reading pieces you wrote months ago. At times, I surprise myself at the eloquence. Other times...not so much.

But the OWFI contest deadline is February first, and I really can't put the task off any longer. Not with the semester, work, and writerly duties restarting. I've decided to enter four categories this year. Two aren't a problem. I know exactly what I'm entering and exactly how much little effort I'll be putting into rewrites.

As for the poetry entries, that decision is always far harder. I have to wade through hundreds of documents. Most that deserve to be deleted (but a mother doesn't do that to her babies). The process often turns into something that makes me wish I had a split personality--the other being a sensible, objective, and patient reader who would scan each perspective poem and come up with the perfect possibilities.

But I'm not that lucky.

While I searched through documents, I recalled a phone conversation I'd recently had with a good friend and fellow writer, Sabrina Fish. Some time ago, Sabrina nailed down her entries. She paid her dues. She generally acted like a responsible, self-motivated writer who sets her own schedule and sticks to it.

And she suddenly became my inspiration.

I didn't make new year's resolutions for 2012. Mostly because I forgot about drumming up a list. But being better at my job has become one.

Writers are lucky. Nobody hovers over your desk, demanding you have some document on his/her desk by five pm. But you have to set your own deadlines. And you have to stick to them.

Preferably, you should make your personal deadlines for an earlier date than others might expect. That's what I'm now doing with my OWFI contest entries. I'm sending them (and my belated dues) out this weekend. I promise.

Then, I can move onto doing what this job's actually all about. Writing.

Thanks, Sabrina! You're the best.
Erin

P.S. The poems I chose were two I wrote last night. So much for doc. hunting!

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