Sunday, March 13, 2016

The byline high

I promised myself that 2016 would be the year of writing. Yes, they all are, but this one is different. No procrastinating, putting off story ideas, no writer's block, no hurdles whatsoever (aside from the unavoidable ones life tends to throw into one's path).

Now, I'll share some good news. Last week, I got an email that made me smile all day. Not just a normal smile like the ones I display while I'm seated at my desk scrolling through social media sites looking at cute animal videos. I mean, smiling while at the grocery store inspecting white onions and green peppers, at random people, while filling my gas tank, while paying bills. (I never smile while paying bills.) What caused such a happy uproar? The one thing, besides money and food, that makes this writer's day—a new byline.

Check it out. My six-word memoir about my first celebrity crush has been included in this new book. The fact that Stephen King's name is in this, too, gives me a super-size thrill. He's my favorite author, and I'm currently in the process of trying to own everything he's ever written. Don't even get me started on the other fab names listed. Talk about an outstanding lineup of famous wordies. I'm just proud to be one of the obscure. I'll stand in their shadows with my cheesy smile any day.

Other Words

Happy to say, I've done well. It's the 13th of the month, and I have 13 submissions out there in editors' boxes, meaning 13 potential bylines. Meaning, I've managed to send out at least one piece per day this month, something I've never done before. I think my record is five days in a row. Essays have been my writing flavor of the month, cranking them out like a baseball pitching machine. I have at least 10 more that I'll finish by the end of this week.

The way I see it, I'll never reach that sparkly dream of being a truly successful writer unless I do the work. Long gone are the days of lying on my couch watching Lifetime Movie Network all day, dreaming of writing stories like that. Earning a byline, to me, is a pinnacle of rewards, the fruit of my tenacious efforts that involves lots of coffee, candy, and frowning. I celebrate just as much when my writer friends tell me they've been published. Hitting close to home is reason enough to shout for joy and schedule a celebration lunch date, especially knowing how tough it is to score in the world of publishing these days.

It's a learn beforehand AND learn-as-you-go process. On and on we go.

Tomorrow I'll take a break from the wordie-life because my "baby" turns 18. Fun and exciting times ahead. And cake! Chocolate cake! But that's a post for another blog.