These past few weeks I’ve been in a trap of my own making. It’s called saying yes to too many freelance projects on top of working full-time, and I’m regretting it. How many times have I typed those very words here? I bet some of you may want to shake me silly right now. I could use it.
This very moment, Saturday morning, I have a work-for-hire manuscript to finish for Monday’s deadline. I’d rather be writing a certain something—oh, be honest—I’d rather be writing anything, absolutely anything other than this. But it is due Monday, so whatever it takes I will finish it for sure this weekend. Then there will be a revision; then two more projects to complete. I’ve signed contracts; in one case I already cashed my first half of the advance; I must do them, and I never miss deadlines. But after that?
I should not say yes to anything else. I won’t. I can’t.
I have the chance to pitch a series and, yes, I am itching to do that, but what about my novel? my stories? my untouched ideas? what about me?
Yesterday in the mail was a rejection slip from one of my most favorite literary journals. It was a small scrap of paper, unaddressed, unsigned. I don’t feel (that) upset; I know the amazing competition I’m up against; I just feel the need to try harder. I have to send that story out to more places. To write more stories. To finish revising my novel. To… you get the idea. I should carry that rejection slip around to keep me from being distracted. Or, better yet, I should pitch it and keep going. Maybe, if I keep focused, it could become an acceptance one day. Maybe, this time next week, I’ll be in the midst of writing something I love.