By Ginny Padgett
I have an embarrassing condition…submission anxiety.
I revealed my secret to a couple of my fellow workshoppers, and they seemed amazed. “That’s silly,” one said. “You NEED to have at least 1,000 rejection slips before you can consider yourself a real writer.” “Just do it!” was the advice of another. “How can you read a sex scene aloud to us and be too shy to send a submission for publication consideration?”
Perhaps this is a silly situation. I am fairly confident in my wordsmith skills, in my ability to create realistic characters and vivid settings, and in making transitions for a good flow.
On the other hand, I get bogged down in descriptions, too much detail, and backstory dump. These stumbling blocks derail the progress of my story. Herein lies the crux of my writing dilemma, I think. Could my focus on the craft of writing be covering up the fact that I haven’t found the story I need to tell? Or maybe I have and haven’t found the magic balance of theme, plot, story line, character, and setting. I may need one of Shakespeare’s witches with bubbling cauldron to make this divination, or…
Should I follow Dr. Faustus’ Plan for Success?
Would a 12-step program help?
Keep writing and buy stamps and manila envelopes?
I know which option is the only answer, but I wish there were an easier way to overcome my literary impotence, brought on by submission anxiety and writer’s block (Yes, I suffer from that one, too!). Aaah…if only there were a little blue pill to painlessly pump up my inept ramblings and push them out as published works.