As you'll already know if you read yesterday's post, I'm not only a day behind on my writing challenge but also managed to delete the lengthy first draft of what I'd written on the subject of being provocative, so I feel as if I've got some serious catching up to do. It's just as well that Jeff Goins has highlighted the importance of perseverance, because I'm learning - amongst many other lessons - that this writing lark really does require you to stick at what you're doing and to keep going and keep going and keep going. The whole point of the challenge is to establish a set of good habits as a writer, and I certainly feel as if my approach and attitude to writing has altered dramatically as a result of undertaking to complete it from start to finish. But, without further ado, let's move on to Day 13! Today (okay, yesterday) the buzzword is publish, and Jeff's merry band of writers have been encouraged to get something out there into the public domain.
Now it's all very well to assure us that whatever we've been working on is good enough to send off, submit or put out there today, right now and immediately. The plain fact is that nothing I have written is ready for any such thing. I'm going to assume that Jeff's urgency is metaphorical, and that he simply wants us to keep up the momentum, which is fine by me; I completely understand and agree with this sentiment. I hope it counts as rising to the challenge if I tell you that I've come up with an idea for a magazine article and earmarked a publication to which I plan to send it, and that furthermore I fully intend to do so just as soon as I've managed to commit words to computer. It's been an interesting revelation for me to discover that I am fully capable of knocking out a few hundred words per evening; I've still managed to put dinner on the table every day, we haven't all run out of clean clothes and I haven't had to reduce the precious amount of time I spend asleep in bed. Based on this knowledge, I know that I am at least capable of producing something of the correct length over the course of a weekend, and that it's vital to put together something that I can pull apart and edit and polish instead of hoping that the words will appear and email themselves off to a magazine editor as if by magic.
I attended a poetry reading on Wednesday night with a friend, and sat with a girl of about my own age who writes screenplays, poetry and children's books in her spare time. Having spent eight years in California, she was influenced by the healthy attitude to self-esteem which is apparently promoted and practised across the pond, and as a result had written some books with the hope that her young son, and others like him, would read and be helped by them. I asked whether they were or would soon be published, and she squirmed a bit and gave me the inevitable answer: it was all down to confidence, or the lack thereof, and she hadn't got around to taking the final, all-important step. I referred her to our friend Mr Goins, and we had a good and positive chat about confidence and its significance. I came away feeling that I wasn't alone - indeed, that I was in possession of important truths which needed to be shared with others. This writing challenge is doing me a lot of good.