Sunday was my day off. Well, sort of a day off. I did laundry, washed dishes, cleaned the bathroom, paid bills, and watched the kids at times, so it’s not like I got to sleep the day away. But I did those tasks because I wanted to do them. There is something about choosing to do chores that makes even the worst of them seem not so bad. It still felt like a day off.
Since I didn’t sleep the day away, I also had time for other things, and I knew Sunday was the deadline for NPR’s 8th round of Three-Minute Fiction. I had been waiting for it because I thought it would be fun to try, but I was disappointed by the starting sentence they gave us: “She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.” It just didn’t spark any ideas in my head.
I wrestled with it for days and finally found a story idea on Friday. I hated it. But I was so overwhelmingly grateful to the Muse for having delivered an idea that I considered writing the story anyway. Since I have ignored approximately 97% of the ideas she has bestowed upon me in the past, it was darned nice of her to stop by at all.
Sunday morning I decided not to bother with it. The story sucked, plus it wasn’t appropriate to the 600-word length limit, not to mention that there just wasn’t enough time left to write a good story.
Sunday evening rolled around and I got mad at myself. “You waited for weeks and now’s your chance and you’re not going to do anything? Seriously? What the hell is wrong with you?” Ashamed, I opened a text document and started to write. I had about five hours. That’s not a lot, but neither is 600 words.
I finished a somewhat intelligible draft at about 11:00. Then, as I and hundreds of other eager writer-would-be’s all attempted to live our last-minute dreams of glory, the server crashed and it seemed that all my effort was for nothing. I was tired and I wanted to go to bed, but stubbornness made me stay up to try again. I tweaked the story some more and then tried to upload it one last time at approximately 11:50 p.m.
It went through!
I still haven’t gotten my e-mail confirmation, but I feel confident that they got the story. With over 7,000 entries, they must be swamped. That would certainly explain the confirmation delay. I wouldn’t mind if they lost the story, though, because having sent it makes me feel like I have a big hole in the back of my pants and the whole world can see my underwear.
I’m trying not to feel that way. I’d rather have a positive attitude. The best argument I can make for that is to consider which of the following statements I’d rather my children used to describe me one day.
- My mother was a terrible writer, but she had a lot of fun. She taught me to enjoy life and follow my dreams.
- My mother was a great writer, but she never published anything. I don’t blame her. I don’t feel comfortable sharing my stuff with others either. Why set yourself up for failure and criticism?
Yeah, I like the sound of #1 better, don’t you? Having fun and setting a good example for my kids are both important to me. So what difference does it make if the world knows I’m wearing blue underwear with a lovely floral pattern?