Saturday, August 22, 2009

Leaping Over Did-I's

I managed to submit two stories to two publishers this week.

Submitting articles is difficult. As I'm sealing the envelope the "Did-I's" whisper in my ear*: Did I write the cover letter right...was it too [insert word here: silly, stupid, dull, wordy, short]? Did I correct all grammatical errors in the manuscript and in the cover letter? Did I send it to the exact right editor at the exact right publishing house at the exact right time? Did I take enough time to research publishers? Did I [insert lots more questions here]?

I sometimes have to leap over the Did-I's so I'll actually submit manuscripts. Not that I want to slop through the process but I could be writing and revising forever without making efforts towards actually submitting. I've heard it said this way: The paralysis of analysis, meaning we analyze something so much, we don't DO anything. We freeze up. So this week, I unfroze and leaped. Which is kind of funny because I had printed out the manuscripts last week but kept them on my desk, paralyzed by the Did-I's and Should-I's (Should-I's go along with the Did-I's: Should I send it to this one or that one? Should I be funny but professional in my cover letter? Should I have my writer's group critique it one more time?) Well, at least I did leap even if it was a week later.

*Did-I's are similar to Shel Silverstein's "The What-ifs" - both can be a real nuisance.

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