The tingly thrill when the idea first presents itself is long gone. I get jazzed by ideas, even bad ones. New thoughts start parading around the old noggin, the brain sputters to life. I perk right up when an idea dawns. It’s a shiny, new opportunity I haven’t effed up yet. Those are good times.
But then comes the drudgery. The actual work, ugh — I won’t dwell on it. Suffice to say, completing the first draft is sweet relief. The angst is gone, the rickety foundation laid, and I’m released from brain lock. What follows, the revising and polishing, is a cakewalk by comparison. Okay, not a cakewalk, but not a death march either. There’s progress and glimmers, good things.
When, at last, it’s ready, I hit the ‘send’ button.
And off they go — my pithy, eloquent article, with enormous hopes attached. With a whoosh, they’re shot into the stratosphere. That’s what I did yesterday, sent my hopes soaring with another submission. Here, nineteen hours later, I’m still hung over from the buzz. It’s down to a fizz, but bubbly nonetheless.
However, by tomorrow at this time, my giddy whirl will be over, the hoo-ha evaporated. I’ll be moody and surly and kicking chairs. Take cover. If you see me coming, cross to the other side of the street. Or flatten yourself against a building. Do not make eye contact. Well, you can, but you’ll be sorry. The look on my face, well, best not to look. Or listen. I’ll be muttering and swearing like a longshoreman, so just keep walking.
Is it worth all this? The hours of work, the mood swings and blows to the ego, the rejection and dismissal? Usually. Heck, it’s a roller coaster, screaming is part of the ride. Besides, I’m convinced the Times will, one day, rethink their lofty, harebrained standards.
And one of my little submissions will sneak past on tiptoes.
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