I had an essay published in the Boston Globe Sunday edition last week. The print title is “Two is company, three’s a crowd-pleaser.” The online title is Grandchildren Underfoot and a Pig in the Cellar. It is about how my house has more than enough space for my husband and me but is crowded when family come to visit or stay, yet it was home to a much larger family.
I am a daily paper reader and always glance through all sections (except auto sales). In Sunday’s Globe there is a section called Address that features articles about housing sales, specific communities, home repair, etc. A column in that section that I’ve enjoyed reading is “My First Home.” It is written by readers.
I’d been sitting on a couple of ideas for the column for several months. Another writer I know had submitted an essay, garnering suggestions from members of our writing group, but her essay wasn’t accepted. I thought it was well-written and so, put my ideas in mothballs. Then a couple of Sunday’s ago, after reading the paper, something came over me and said, just submit it. Despite the editorial note at the end of the column: “Please note: We do not respond to submissions we won’t pursue”, I gulped…wrote a draft…redrafted. Sent the draft to two members of the writing group for feedback. Got a couple of suggestions from one person; redrafted and, closing my eyes, pressed the send button the next day – Monday. My essay was accepted on Wednesday. A record for me ever hearing positive news about a submission. (This is the second article I’ve had in the Globe. The first was published over 20 years ago, “Oh, to Sit on Ma’s Lap” or something like that.)
Anyhow, I know that nothing succeeds but a try but still I hesitate with my writing. On that same Sunday, I wrote a 250 word essays for the AARP newsletter. They have a column I always read and they invite guest submissions. Their quick response says that it’ll take 8 weeks for a response – due to the high volume of submissions.
I am not anxious about AARP (right now I have other fish to fry) but I am hopeful and, in the past week, I’ve done a really substantial draft of another essay for another column. Who knows, I might actually look through back issues of a writers newsletter that I receive for other submission opportunities and do some.
I will also print out my children’s novel, Pucker, and go over the editorial review I paid for but haven’t yet made time to implement. I tend to meet my paying client’s deadlines and not my own.
It was my pleasure recently, to hear author/playwright/artist/thinker Walter Mosley speak during his “Obsessive Residency” with ArtsEmerson at Emerson College. After a staged reading of one of his plays, he was asked how he produced so much. He answered that it was his work. He works/writes every day. I inhaled those words and they influenced my submitting the aforementioned essay. (Don’t you just love the word “aforementioned”?) I now have a sticky note stuck to my computer to do the same: WRITE/WORK. Nothing succeeds but a try and time is running out.