Friday, May 20, 2011

A Return to Optimism

80º ~ the air thickening, unsettled weather predicted through the weekend, sky darkening quickly after sun earlier

Hennepin Canal Lock 24, Geneseo, IL
Just a quick progress report from this morning's time at the desk.  While I haven't gotten back to drafting poems, I feel the process gathering strength as surely as I feel the wind becoming heavy with the oncoming rain.

This morning, I returned to optimism and submitted the book to three contests with due dates in June.  I know that yesterday's post showed some doubts; however, those were global doubts that I'm not going to solve in a few weeks.  I figured I might as well roll the dice while I'm mulling things over.  After all, I'm not displeased by the book, just uncertain.

The task of submitting the manuscript might seem quick and easy, given that I've gone over it so many times; however, there is still the time of research and adjusting to new guidelines.  Yes, I'm one of those people who read all the guidelines, including the fine print.  Having taught for over ten years, I know the frustration of receiving material when it is clear that the submitter has not bothered with the guidelines.  To the editors and readers of contest manuscripts out there, I say:  Respect, mon!

Blissfully, two of the three presses now accept online submissions, so once I sorted through all the dos and don'ts I was rocking along there.  The other submission is stuffed and sealed and ready for my next task, a trip to the post office. 

In the morning's work, I also took care of several items on the business side of publishing individual poems.  A journal sent me proofs last night for two poems set to appear in a summer issue.  I love having the chance to check out proofs and give a hat-tip to those journals that offer them.  Also, I have a poem appearing in an upcoming anthology, so I had to fill out a contract, which involved going back through records and checking for permissions and generally getting several ducks in a row.

The point of this post is mostly for those beginning writers out there.  There's just no getting around the fact that to be a publishing writer, one also has to deal with what might seem pesky and time-consuming busywork.  However, I do believe that by following directions and meeting deadlines, I'm generating goodwill with all of my editors out there.  Sure, I'm not getting rich with these publications, but most of these editors aren't driving fancy sports cars and taking around-the-world vacations either.  We do it "for the love of the game."  If you don't love it, don't play.


Quintilian B. Nasty said...

One of my favorite parts of the process is of course seeing my work in print/screen but also having to fill out those consent to publish forms.

That's the kind of busywork we all want more of.

Good luck with the poetic tourneys.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Q. Good luck to you as well!

How's the garden?

Kathleen said...

I am tickled pink that you are sending the manuscript out, and my pinks are in the ticklish spray stage, just beginning to open, blossom by blossom, so I take that as a good sign!!

Yes! To the reading and following of guidelines!

Sandy Longhorn said...

K., so glad the rain stayed away for you! Blooms away!

Tawnysha Greene said...

"If you don't love it, don't play."

This is great advice! So true!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Tawnysha. Hope you are well.

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

The garden is good--just started eating spinach and red Romaine this past week.