Recently I was asked to read some poems by a person who just started writing, hoping I might suggest ideas for publication.
Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the ground.
I’ve been writing my entire life. It takes a couple of months or longer to write (and edit, and rewrite, and edit…) even one poem I’d consider showing someone else. Most of what you see here at WMBØ is the result of between ten and 60 revisions.
Write My Brains Out is not hyperbole.
“This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again.”
― Oscar Wilde
Right you are, Oscar. I, too, nitpick my brains out.
Yet I remain unpublished.
- The submission process frustrates me. It’s long and tedious. I’d rather be writing.
Life is busy. There are dozens of things on the to-do list. Submitting stories remains, regrettably, on the should-do list. But as Punk likes to say, you make time for what’s really important. (He also likes to talk about smashing the kids’ faces into a pizza, which is hysterical to a five year old, but does call into question the scope of his sagacity.)
I think my stuff isn’t good enough. (This is the biggie.) I don’t necessarily fear rejection, I just expect it. If something’s not perfect in my book, why should I think it’s up to anyone else’s standards, right?
Because you know what else is not perfect? Practically every published piece ever written. Typos, misspellings, wrong words, dangling participles and misplaced apostrophes can be found in the best work.
Two Sundays back I heard a man speak about stepping out in faith, having courage to do something you’ve never done before. “Today I’m crossing the boundary of my limitations,” he said several times.
What does that mean?
It means this: We limit ourselves. What we believe dictates how we behave.
Numbers 1 and 2 are hurdles, but number 3 is the boundary I created. The first two can be climbed over or gone around; they’re just excuses.
The only limitation is the wall we ourselves build.
And today, we can choose to cross over the boundaries of our limitations— and smash pizza in their faces.