Use your words

Some know the power of a name. Some possess powers of persuasion. Some wield multiple languages like maestros before orchestras. Some days, there are reminders words matter. The ones we write, the words we don’t say, the details we edit. The stories we tell, and retell and the ones we hold back.

I don’t have all the words. I can’t say I have a second language. Some days even the language I do use confounds me. While I’m working on the things that might be holding me back from longer stories, in the meantime I’ll make do with fewer words, much as I always have.

This week though, my ability to wield few words meant I won Austlit’s 20 words for 20 years competition held on Twitter. The prize is a manuscript assessment with literary editor and author Angela Meyer. The task now is to decide on which 5000 words.

Austlit’s anniversary mirrors mine. It has been 20 years since I decided if I was going to write, I should, in fact, polish some skills and, actually put words down and send various arrangements of written words into the world. It has been 20 years and I am a better writer. I have been published in different genres and in different forms and formats. I haven’t run out of ideas. There have been times writing has been difficult, uninspired, and less productive, when I am tired, and preoccupied. But all things in their season. All things ebb and flow. When I can’t write, there is editing, journal searches, and the endless thankless formatting tasks for submissions. I write what I can when I can, but I am still writing.

State of the writing 2021

  • Pending Submissions: 40
  • Rejections: 54
  • Publications: 4

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