It's about that time in my writing calendar for hearing back from the Florida Writers Association about my various submissions. Both to the annual anthology contest - this year's theme was "Thrills and Chills" - as well as the Royal Palm Literary awards.
Welp. I heard back from the judges on the Annual and... I did not make the 60-story cut.
I knew it was a long shot - they get so many submissions - but still I'm sitting here wondering "what the hell do I have to write... HOW do I write something that will appeal to others?"
I know the rule is "write for yourself" foremost, but c'mon, you're writing so others can see your work and be entertained if you do it well.
I hope that my blog writing - which relies a lot on my journalism expertise for pithy and concise wordcraft as well as my librarian background on research - can be more impressive (I did win a Silver for one blog article two years ago, but I struck out last year. Sigh).
Part of my writing logjam is having about five or six ideas at any one time and then failing to focus on getting one done in a fast-enough manner to make it relevant to the moments that inspire me. Part of it is the doubt that creeps in along the lines of "no, wait, people aren't going to grok that" or worse.
I look through Submission Grinder from time to time wondering what I could submit to, or start working on to fill an editorial request, but I get stumped and frustrated second-guessing myself on what those editors really want.
I read enough to know what the markets are like, I write enough to feel I have a knack for it.
But most of the time I just despair. This isn't a hobby anymore, or a lark.