Silly and Unexplainable Goals

Posted on 05 May 2011

I’ve mentioned before that despite my 2010 submission binge, I haven’t submitted much lately. I only have a few things still out in the universe waiting for responses: a handful of short story submissions, most of which could safely be marked “lost/never responded” on Duotrope by now. A few grant-ish type of applications (all long shots). One or two other miscellaneous writing-related projects. And that’s it.

For me, this is a very dry submission time indeed. I feel zero anticipation when I check the mail or my email these days. Submishmash is going to forget I exist. Not to mention all my pals from the post office. I haven’t bought stamps or mailed manuscripts in months! Yes, I’ve been writing, which is more important, but who is going to stuff my mailbox full of my own SASEs unless I get to work? No one, that’s who.

Oddly enough, the one submission I am actually waiting on isn’t related to my fiction. It’s such a silly and ridiculous thing to hope for that I wish I could tell you right now so we could all get a chuckle out of it. I don’t even know why I sent it off. But here I am, hoping this funny little thing will get a “yes” even though it would mean less to me than almost anything else I’ve submitted.

Maybe that’s why I feel safe enough to hope for it — it’s mostly an adorable, arbitrary challenge I set for myself, just for the fun of it.

I can’t tell you what it is because it might not pan out. (I did tell a writer friend last night and she had this slightly uncomfortable look on her face at first, like “How am I supposed to respond to this?”) It’s better to wait until I get a response so I can laugh and tell you guys and maybe you’ll laugh, too. Or maybe not. Maybe you’ll just think I’m a little nuts. Maybe I won’t say anything about it at all.

In the end, this might be nothing more than a distraction — something to prevent me from investing energy in the more relevant submitting that I could be doing. I’m very aware of this possibility. Even so, I’m entitled to my funny little hope and I’m keeping it for now.

What are waiting for? What’s your distraction? What makes you hope? What makes you laugh? What is your silly and unexplainable goal? And don’t say “writer.” Please don’t say that.

Photo: Checkered and aMUSEd


11 responses to Silly and Unexplainable Goals

  • Last year, I focused hugely on submissions. This year, I’ve decided instead to focus on preliminary goals. For example, I applied to two writing workshops to sharpen my ms–and was accepted into both. (Yay, me! I so seldom have any opportunity to toot my own horn. Of course, this means all the REAL agony and work is yet ahead…)

    I agree with you that actual writing is the real shebang. And we give ourselves any small goals–and appreciate any small successes–that we can.

  • Lyra says:

    Okay, silly thing unrelated to writing.

    There is this skirt, the most beautiful skirt, this long, hippy-esque ankle length skirt. And the last time I could get away with that silhouette I was taking martial arts.

    I’ve recently been researching different places for my 6 year old to take a class. When he’s being nuts and rambunctious, I let him spar with me. He tries his “moves” and I just push him away, or tap his face or stomach to show him where he didn’t block. The kid is so focused and begs to do this. And I love being able to show him and the surprise in his face when he sees that my hands are fast, and it’s not random, and he gets it.

    So, my secret, only on a public blog secret, wish, is that my disc issue will heal up so that I can take it too, because I miss that feeling of being strong and fit and powerful. And that I’m a surprise to the people who know me.

    • I spent years of my life practically living in long, hippie-esque skirts. Once, while working in a small-town, family-run pharmacy, someone looked me up and down and said, “You don’t get your clothes from around here, do you?”

      Anyway, yes, I hope you can return to martial arts…that is a fabulous goal to have.

  • Paul says:

    So you’ve given us a mystery. It’s not fair to tease without an ultimate reveal, so I’ll be watching for it.

    My submission level is about normal right now, which is to say I have a handful of hopeful items out there. I did just get a decline on a short story, but it was one of those helpful rejections with some ideas for why the story didn’t work/how it could be made better. So I’m giving it a few days before I read the story again with those points in mind. Maybe I’ll make some changes. Maybe I’ll just send it out again as is.

  • Deb says:

    I am ready to submit my first essay – ever. Not expecting much but still excited.

    I haven’t allowed myself a silly and unexplainable goal in years. There, that will be my goal. I will stride toward wanting something silly just because. But I’d have a better idea if you shared yours…

  • lisahgolden says:

    I have been so remiss about setting goals. I think it’s part of being commitment adverse. If I say aloud and become accountable? The horror.

  • amyg says:

    can i guess? it’s the cat fancy query, right?! ha ha!!

    lately, my goal is to make it through five minutes at my keyboard without crying. has there ever been an mental disorder diagnosed that is an acute form of depression spurred only by keyboards? am i the first? could that be my goal? first person ever diagnosed with acute-depression-keyboard-disorder?

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