On Friday, I shared that had reached the point in my writing that I felt it was necessary for me to take the next step. It was time for me to Submit my work to a publisher. My deadline to submit my writing  was midnight on Saturday night. 18 minutes before the Deadline, I submitted my first piece to a publisher, and I already feel more powerful, after having done so.


For the past year, I have blogged something almost daily. I have begun writing several first drafts for one piece or another. I realized that it was time to take my first test. I searched through as many upcoming writing competitions as I could find, and I selected one for my goal. The deadline for midnight on October 1, Unfortunately, I didn’t begin fine-tuning my piece early enough, and I waited until about two days before the deadline to begin assembling several memoir vignettes that I had written. Clearly, I procrastinated too long.

After I had assembled the parts of my essay, I began combing through my writing. The maximum word count for my finished piece was 8500 words, and I had not yet tried to manage an essay of that length. It was more difficult than I expected to edit that many words. It seemed that I would edit and re-edit the first two pages, but I had difficulty being satisfied enough to move farther. The deadline was drawing nearer and nearer, and I still hadn’t edited the bulk of the essay.

Initially, I did what I believed all along that I would do. I decided to simply back out of the race. I began looking for the next important competition, and I decided to wait until then to submit. Besides, I had to work the day of the submission deadline. The miracle is that I worked with an editor that day, and when I told her my plight, she gouged me until I decided to just do it. Whether the thing was perfect or not, I decided to jump from one cliff to another. I decided to simply submit. And I am glad that I did.

After I had pushed the button “submit,” I realized that it didn’t matter whether I won the competition or not. My breakthrough lay in having pulled a quantity of writing together and to have gathered enough courage to try to move forward.

On October 2, I began making a long and detailed calendar of upcoming writing competitions. I am ready to face the next dragon, but next time, I’ll begin editing sooner, and I’ll truly be ready. Next time, I might allow myself a chance to win.

©Jacki Kellum October 3, 2016