Yesterday was interesting; a quiet little climax to a series of writing anxieties that had been building for the past couple of weeks. It requires a little bit of explanation.
I’m planning on submitting to an anthology that gives very little information in the call. It gives the theme, then that’s it. Okay, I have until February 2017 until submissions close, but the lack of detail has been making me stress.
In the previous publications I’ve been accepted into, the submission call gives a fairly detailed view of what the editor is looking for. This is important, because as part of the submission process, I really study call so I’m in no doubt as to what the editor is looking for.
When there isn’t much detail, that usually makes me draw a blank. The opinions of the editor are often what sparks the idea off for the story, and the more information they give, the better I can craft a story to suit. I guess some might cry that I’m not being very creative, but when pitching work to anthologies you don’t get in if you don’t satisfy the editor.
Anyway, at first I’d thought I’d come up with an idea, and had even got a rough thousand words to start the story off. Great! So I thought. Over the last couple of days I’ve returned to the story, and I’m dissatisfied with it. It feels too simple, and a rather obvious interpretation of the theme.Would it stand out in the slushpile? Probably not.
Going back to the drawing board would be fine, but as I’ve been playing around with the theme, I feel it can only go in a very limited number of ways. And then self-doubt strikes! Now I’m feeling that it’s more my fault for not being creative, which compounds the issue as I’m not focusing on myself, rather than remaining focused on the idea. Ah whole list of anxieties then decide it’s time to board the train. These all came to a head yesterday.
The good news is the situation has resolved itself. I’m still coming up with an idea for it, but I have a direction that I feel is decent enough to follow and flesh out more. Rather than flog the horse and expect an idea to appear quickly, I’m going to sit on it for a while, leaving it at the back of my mind. After all, I have a long time to finish it. The other perk is that from the more frantic brainstorming earlier, I’ve come up with an idea that would work for another publication I want to submit too, though, I’ve already got one story to pitch to them already.