I admire people who make plans, build upon grand schemes, and achieve goals. On occasion, I imagine scurrying around a board stuck with images of lists and flow charts linked by arrows and string lines, and then this dream of organisational utopia vanishes and I go about whatever I have to go about, and a lot of things I don’t. Instead, regarding writing, I follow leads and sometimes end up in unexpected places, which is especially true when I’m writing and I don’t know what it will be. Sometimes, I end up nowhere at all and forget where I left from. On the submission side, I’ve put a packet of poems together only to lose track of where I was going to send them, then find the opportunity but only after a deadline has passed. Or, I will see a call out that seems like a perfect fit, but I don’t qualify to submit, or I realise my work is not the kind of thing the publication wants. Then, something new will popup left of field while I’m not concentrating, but I follow it, find a piece that seems like a fit, polish it, submit it, and get it accepted within exactly 12 hours. And that’s why this month is Serendipebruary. Kinda.
Perhaps, later, I will layer over my actions with serious musings about intention and adopted methodologies, as I may have done previously. And, yes, I have a few things in place I do these days that means I may encounter opportunities more readily, but opportunity can arrive bow tied on my doorstep and if I’m not ready, nothing will happen. As Hamlet says: the readiness is all. But Hamlet is only half right. The readiness and the opportunity together are all, but that doesn’t scan as well. Anyway. My other notion is so much of what is involved in my writing (at least) isn’t deliberative. It’s not a carefully planned and calculated campaign of big thoughts at set times, amid regimented journal searches. Nope, writing and getting things published is more like accidently falling down into an endless rabbit warren, and eventually emerging not as a rabbit, but as from a chrysalis, with four contrasting ideas smashed together, or a publication discovered, all unfurling on new wings. What I’m saying is I can be far more intentional about the use of commas while editing a work than in the search for where to send the piece once I deem it ready.
I’ll let others plan their writing and schedule their publication searches or their editing time. I know the measure of my skills and abilities. And, finally I’m at a point that I’m no longer concerned with how I approach the craft and the art of writing, because over the last couple of years, it’s been working. For now, it is (mostly) enough.
Anyway, the happy accident was getting the timing right and discovering Suddenly and Without Warning, and now you can read my flash fiction there at this link, here.
The 2023 Writing Update
- Rejections: 8
- Pending: 16
- Accepted (3 carried over from 2022): 4
- Published: 3