I’m returning to writing, and getting back to submitting. It’s a dichotomy—because when you take time to write you feel like you should be submitting, and when you’re submitting, you feel as if you should be writing! Of course, both are necessary, so there really is no internal conflict. Not really. Sometimes, emotionally, it does seem like a bit much.
I like to write a little when I feel that urge to write while I’m submitting. Even if it’s just a image or a stanza, it feels better emotionally. I don’t know if other poets encounter this. It’s a situation I bump into frequently, so I try to manage as best I can. I want my writing time, and my submitting time to be exclusive and focused. If that means I have to break between one or the other to meet a small need, in a small way, I’m willing to do it. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it has worked for me so far.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re feeling pulled—into writing while you’re submitting, or submitting while you’re writing!
Are you being inspired by seeing your writing? Or inspired by putting together a submission?
These are feel-good hormones, and excitement. This is good! We want to keep these momentum-feelings!
Do you have coffee, is your blood sugar stabilized, and are you relatively unstressed?
It’s no surprise if you haven’t eaten, or haven’t had your own-personal-stabilizer, or are emotionally or physically compromised, you’re going to have difficulty focusing.
Do you have other things on your mind?
Housework, your job, other anxieties, health issues…can all contribute to distractibility.
Do you have space and sufficient time?
Feeling like you have to fit in submitting or writing, feeling pressure, can lead to ineffective time usage. Or mistakes made while submitting, or poor quality-time writing.
What if you are meeting all your needs and everything is ideal?
As in you’re: 1) chemically balanced, 2) have plenty of time, 3) have plenty of space, 4) have focus, and you are still fighting with wanting to write while you’re submitting, or submitting while you’re writing?
Then, meet both needs, of course! But do it in a small, one-at-a-time focused way!
If you want to write, but you’re in a submitting session…
Take a break from your writing session, and submit to one magazine.
Or read about a magazine you want to submit to.
This shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
You still want to devote 90% percent of your time and attention to writing.
If you’re submitting but you get that fire to write…
Take a break from submitting!
Write a line, or a stanza, or an idea for a poem.
Or write an entire poem.
You shouldn’t devote more than 15 minutes to this.
Hopefully, meeting your poem need should free you up to focus on submitting.
Yes, self-discipline does come into play. I’m not saying it’s always going to work out that you can both submit and write. But you can honor yourself and your time, when that itch wants to be scratched.
Sometimes, devoting just a little attention can go a long way towards complete satisfaction and fulfillment, and better clarity and performance with the main task you’re setting out to perform.
Wishing you concentration and effective creative time,