I’ve been attempting to approach writing more seriously these last 9 months, and it has paid off a bit.
I stumbled upon the application form 2 days before the journal’s submission deadline. The lesson here could not be clearer: write your passion, and then when opportunity knocks you simply select from available work, rather than trying to do a rush job to create. I’ve heard this story repeatedly from writers and directors interviewed on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast… entire careers launched because, when asked on the spot to submit something, the artist in question had stuff “in the can” that they could touch up and deliver on short notice.
On the other extreme, I’ve been working and re-working a submission for a University of New Mexico Summer Writer’s Workshop almost constantly since last October. Today I submitted it so I could simply put it to bed and write other things. There is joy in both approaches.
In spite of a few obvious lapses in motivation and productivity, I’m doing OK in my quest to write frequently enough to call myself a writer. It really is like adopting a workout schedule and then making sure you just show up at the gym!