• Kate O'Connor

Validate me, I'm needy!

Sunday evening. I hate this time of the week. It usually finds me sitting on my couch with my dogs, thinking back over all the things I had planned to do over the weekend - none of which I would've gotten done. This weekend has been a perfect example. My to-do list was short:

- watch last uni lecture

- fertilise front lawn

- write for a few hours

Fail, fail, big fat fail. And so tonight I sit here feeling almost panicky, like the world might fall down around me because I haven't done what I intended to do. I'm anxious and irritable and pretty moody (thank God no one is around to see except the dogs).

In a ridiculous attempt to salvage my weekend and have it be useful in some small way, I've spent the last hour scouring Submittable for appropriate places to submit some stories. It occurs to me now that in my eagerness to be noticed, I could've submitted to some somewhat sketchy publications, without having completely read over their policies when it comes to publications rights, etc.

In the age of instant gratification, it's hard to be a writer. We want to know if our work is acceptable, if it's publishable, if it even really passes as writing. But considering the vast majority of publishers will never send a rejected writer anything more than a Copy & Paste response, any decent feedback is hard to come by. So how do we know? I often wonder what Stephen King would think if he read my work. Would he laugh at my attempt at horror? What would Lovecraft think? Would he rather take out his eyes with a spork than read more than a paragraph of my writing?

Yet, despite all this, we write. And write. And write. It's hard to give up once you've started. There's too much at stake, including your sanity. Sometimes the words come out whether you want them to or not. I'd prefer it to be in my writing, though I've been known to suffer from a serious bout or two of verbal diarrhoea. But the point is, if the words want to be told then they will be told. One way or another.

And so I write.

P.S. Stephen King, if you ever happen across this website, go easy on me. I'm only the student, not the master. Like you say, books are a uniquely portable magic. One day, I'd like to add a little bit of my own.


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