Michelle Wittle On Deadlines

Michelle Wittle On, Writing Tips

So, the other day I was doing a bit of surfing on the Internet (I don’t know how to swim, so other types of surfing are off the menu for me) and I was looking into master’s programs. I came across this one school that looked pretty cool, so I investigated a bit further. I found out that they have a literary magazine and anyone can submit his or her work to the magazine.


This made me happy because I am always on the hunt for a new place to punish with my work. Then I saw that they take fiction and non-fiction and the list of my requirements for a magazine were getting checked off in my mind. They take up to two pieces of your work and the word count is pretty generous. Submissions should be sent through email only. There is no payment other then a free copy of the journal in which you appear. All this is sounding perfect.


However, I think I may have a few roadblocks. The deadline for material is November 15th. Also, they have a theme for the literary journal and the theme is “change.” Lastly, I can’t access the current issue so I don’t know what kind of voice they look for in the publication.


So, here is my dilemma. Do I quickly fix up a short story and write a creative non-fiction piece and send it along? Should I go against my own advice and send my work without seeing what they like first? Can I afford to take this chance?


The bigger question is, can I afford not to? Seriously, the 15th isn’t that close. I have nothing but time to work on some pieces. I certainly have gone through a lot of changes in my life and I have plenty of material I can pull a non-fiction piece from.


Then I wonder if I am reading the signs wrong. I, stupidly, also live like my life is a novel and everything is foreshadowing something. I went looking online and in my head I was looking for a place in which I could belong. I was a bit depressed and just needed a nudge in some kind of direction. Can I really look at me finding this website as I sign I should submit to them? I know that things never happen as we think they should happen. At first glance, I would assume that this could be a sign to submit because they will love me and publish me. But, I take another breath and try to rethink it. Maybe this is a sign to push me to write something really good that someone else will want to publish. Or it could be just a sign to keep trucking along and take chances.


Perhaps I should stop thinking all together. Live in the moment just like the Dog Whisperer tells all pet owners. Maybe I should just relax, act confident, and live in the now. As much as I want to, I can’t predicate the future and maybe I need to seriously stop trying. I need to take chances and stop looking for “safe places.” In the writing world, there really aren’t safe places.


Well, I guess I have my answer. I will rework my story I read at the open mic (which you missed, but whatever). Then, I will dig in my past and find a story about change. I think I might use the piece I was working on called, “My Crappy Handed Life.” The title might need some revamping as well.





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