I mentioned a few times in the last couple of weeks that I’ve been working on a short story to submit for a call. Now, for those of you who don’t know, I’ve never submitted anything before. I’m always working on things and I’ve finished pieces, but I’ve just never taken that next step. I do plan on submitting the story I was working on editing last year, but it’s not ready yet.
Submitting this short story actually wasn’t my idea. Tracey, my friend and amazing editor, is the one who pointed it out to me. I told her that there was a minor character from last year’s NaNoWriMo that I wanted to do a story on, and this submission call fit him perfectly. I grabbed it and ran.
I didn’t run very far before I stumbled. I’ve dealt with clinical depression for a long time, and I’ve been unmedicated for several years. For the most part, I just deal with it, because I hadn’t been able to afford the meds. I’ve been under a lot of stress with work lately, though, and the depression just cut me off at the knees.
When it gets that bad, I can barely bring myself to function as a human being, and writing falls to the wayside. I missed at least a week of good writing time because even the few words I wrote took more effort than I could really handle.
The week before the story was due, I cancelled all of my social plans. I would’ve taken time off work, if I could. I had that Wednesday off, and I chained myself to my desk. I didn’t stop writing except to take breaks to eat (and one to pray), and in the end, I had eight thousand words and a numb right hand. I wasn’t finished, but I was close. I sent what I had to Tracey, so she could do some light editing, and went to bed.
I did a little on Thursday night, but ended up falling asleep early. It was a good thing that I did: I got a call from work at close to 1 AM that woke me up. After it ended, I rolled around in bed, but couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I got up.
I ate breakfast, then attacked my story. At about 5 AM, I was finally finished. Tracey happened to be awake then as well, so I sent my story to her to clean up for me. I was buzzing with adrenaline. Besides the high that I usually get when I finish a story, I was all the more keyed up because I was finally going to submit something! I was maybe going to have something published!
Then I realized that I still had to do a query letter, synopsis, and book blurb. I flailed around, because I’d never done any of those either, and I had to leave for work then. I ended up writing all three longhand at work, typing them up, and sending them to Tracey. Partially so she could correct any little stupid mistakes, but more so she could assure me that it was fine and to go ahead and submit everything.
I called her and thanked her profusely. She had put her other editing aside to do what she’d done for me, and I was very grateful. Once I got away from work, I hit send. It was done and out of my hands, and I was still excited.
Did it get accepted? No clue. I won’t know until April or May. I’ll tell you when I find out,but even if it doesn’t, I’m not going to get discouraged. This was an amazing experience for me, and I’m very glad that I did it.
The only downside is, I’m looking around for the next call to kill myself to get turned in on time!