Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No, I will hit the send button and it will be done.

When I was an actress I suffered from a debilitating stage fright. Auditions were...something I suffered through. Something I had to do, obviously, to try out for a role. I started doing theater early on. My first acting class was when I was 8. I took to it right away. I loved playing roles that were so different from myself. I was rather reserved, but taking on a role was very freeing. I don't remember when the stage fright started, but instead of getting better as I got older, it worsened. By the time I was in my twenties, I would feel physically sick before I went on stage, or on an audition. Sometimes I wouldn't even go on the audition. There were, what I recognize now, as panic attacks. I would have plans to go somewhere that required a little more of me, an audition, a chance to meet someone, and...right after I got out of bed I would experience waves of dizziness. So acute that I would have to lie back down. My inner anxiety created such disorientation that I would have to remain in bed for a few hours. Later, when I had by then missed the audition, the dizziness was miraculously gone. This is one of the reasons why I gave up acting.

Writing has been cathartic for me. I have been able to let my thoughts drift out through my fingers, and have been pretty successful at not letting my censor start shouting in my ear. As acting was in the beginning, it has been very freeing for me. But, I am now testing myself a bit. Blogging is very safe. You write what you want, slap it on the Blogosphere, and usually get positive feedback. The community is like your very own PEP SQUAD. Your cheerleaders. And it feels validating and really wonderful.

However, I feel the need to see if my writing resonates in other places, too. Hence, one of my New Year's Resolutions, which was to make at least one submission a month for publication consideration. This month my intention is to submit a few poems to a well known publication. This publication happens to take emailed submissions. And, probably most people would say that being able to email your work is sooooo convenient and that would be the end of it. Nope. Not for me.

You see, emailing to me feels really direct. Basically you're sending your work, that has emotional meaning to you, in an email bullet DIRECTLY to someone else. Whereas when you print out a cover letter, fold it up with your poems, stick it in an envelope, put a self-addressed envelope in it for the "we regret" letter, add a stamp and throw it in the mail... Well, you know it goes through a lot of hands. Why does that make a difference? Well, in my convoluted thinking process it means that maybe it sits in the mail room for a while, then it may sit on some one's desk...It could take a while to be opened. Maybe it doesn't even get opened. There is mystery involved.

With emailing a submission to someone, it zooms directly into their inbox. Perhaps they get thousands of submissions, and your email doesn't even get opened right away. However, there is a chance that it does get opened, glanced at quickly, and given the rejection right away. Yet, they take weeks to let you know. And in this world of QUICK, QUICKER, QUICKEST...that seems almost mean.

So, my stomach is clenched today, as I write this, because in a few minutes I will submit some of my work via email, and I can't run after the mailman and say...OH, I FORGOT SOMETHING!...snatch the letter back and wait for another day. No, I will hit the send button and it will be done. And then I may have to lie down and take some deep breaths.

****Painting by Chuck Gumpert - titled: "Imminent"

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  1. Go for it, JCK! And, good luck to you.

  2. You are inspiring. I don't have the same goals you do, but I am inspired by you.

  3. Ooooooo, I've got my fingers crossed. Good luck.

  4. It'll be okay. I need to say that for both of our benefits.

    Now, push the lever.

  5. I hate auditions too. That's one reason it's so nice to live in a town where all the directors (all 3 of them) know my work and I don't have to audition anymore. I know, I know.
    Hit that send button girl. And keep hitting it. You are a wonderful poet and someone will see it. SOON!
    Just remember how many times Harry Potter got rejected. Don't THOSE people feel foolish now!

  6. Is it done yet? How did it go?

  7. Good luck! Since I am sure you have already hit send my good luck is for the outcome. I hope your poem finds the right inbox. You are very talented. I really mean that too.

  8. I admire this so much. I've ALWAYS suffered from the 'doubt=don't' train of thought which I often later REGRET.

    I bow down.

  9. I'm crossing my fingers for you. Good luck.

  10. You go girl! I can't imagine doing an audition. I'm certain I would have thrown up on myself if I had ever succeeding in getting through the door.

    p.s. Do the breathing before and during, not just after! Good luck!

  11. p.p.s. thanks for showing us so many pieces of gorgeous art.


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