The latest copy of Mslexia has been sitting on my bedside table, untouched, for over two weeks now. This is the magazine every woman writer should learn by heart a few days after it drops on her doormat, as it has everything you ever need to know about writing and getting published.
For my defence, I’ve been slightly preoccupied by daughter’s jaw operation. Even so, there were many times both in hospital and since when I could have been reading it. Instead, I opted for Grazia, Vogue or some other equally picture laden publication.
Today I got round to Mslexia at last. And there they were again: the pages and pages of competition ‘opportunities’.
As an unpublished writer I should – I know I should – take part in every competition possible. Along with writing the latest tale about spies and intrigue in Helsinki, I should be compiling a veritable portfolio of short stories, to be dusted off and pulled out for submission to this or that competition.
This afternoon I got as far as circling the ones in Mslexia that sounded my sort of thing and promised myself I would sit down and write the first few sentences of new story this evening. Or at least in the course of next week.
I have yet to hear back from a few agents on my manuscript, The Red King of Helsinki. Though there’s nothing I can do (apart from writing), it’s taking all of my energy just to wait.
In the past I’ve sent out a few stories, even my first completed manuscript, Pappa’s Girl, to competitions, but suddenly I have no enthusiasm left for them. Perhaps I’m having submission fatigue.
Does such a thing even exist?