A few weeks ago, I received an “Author Agreement” in the mail. It wasn’t exactly a surprise as I had spoken with the magazine’s editor numerous times on the phone. But it was exciting nonetheless. Somebody is actually going to publish, in a nationally distributed periodical, something I’ve written, and they’re going to pay me to boot! It was weird – once I had the contract in hand, I had a hard time signing it and sending it back. It took me a week to put it in the mailbox. I’m not going to name the magazine or describe the article at this point. Something my mom told me about eggs, chickens, and enumeration. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ve been told the short article will be published in January. I’ll have more to say then.
The experience was a little painful. I am a great procrastinator, and came up with plenty of good reasons not to sit down and write. And that really is the only way to finish any writing project – you have to sit down and write. Of course once I did start, no sentence I wrote was good enough, so I wrote and rewrote the title of the article (which the editor may or may not even use) five or six times. But once I got past the distraction the words, sentences and paragraphs came. I’ve found that it’s better to just write, let it flow, then go back and rip it up. It’s not like I’m etching granite.
I’ve gathered up material to write another piece along the same lines, and I’m still having trouble getting started. This one covers a broader topic and should be about twice as long. I just hope it doesn’t take me twice as long to get it going.