Writer’s Market, contests, and finding the time to write (oh my!)

Drinking Status : Recovering from last night

Soundtrack : Kevin Devine – Bubblegum

Yeah, there’s nothing better to open a blog post with than a drinking status. Unfortunately, it’s the morning, and I have work (the non-writing kind, the pay-the-bills kind) in a few hours so there’s no actually current drinking to be…statused? That’s a good one. It’s probably for the best, as last night was a pretty heavy one on the alcoholic beverages, and there’s only so much Jack Daniels you can put in your body. I know, I’ve mastered that experiment, friends.

Anyway, despite a long night which didn’t end until the wee hours of the morning, I’m still up early before work, busting out some writing. There are two upcoming contests that I’m submitting entries for, and I’m just going through the ever-exciting process of editing and re-writing bits and pieces. The contests, you ask? The first one is the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition, where I have crafted a (hopefully) suspenseful thriller under its 1,500-word restrictions. The deadline looms just two days from now, hence the “work no matter what you did last night” strategy I have now employed. The second one is the Dead of Winter contest over at Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, and as far as that one goes, I haven’t officially chosen an entry yet. Basically, they have this theme that the story has to primarily take place in an attic, in winter, and prominently feature a child’s toy or plaything…I’ve essentially written several different stories revolving around several different toys, and I’m still kind of trying to figure out which route I like best. The deadline for this one is December 21st.

About a month ago, I had purchased the Writer’s Market 2015 book, and over the course of two weeks I highlighted that thing like a banshee out of hell, spilling fluorescent yellow and pink all over anything that might be potentially useful. I also created a spreadsheet in my google drive to keep track of the contests and markets where I think my writing will be best, and I hope to keep track of my submissions like a responsible writer. Cool, right?

Contests are something I haven’t really done too much of before, which yes, I’m aware that’s a shame. There are so many opportunities that can be missed without doing some type of research, and I definitely recommend having your own highlighting party with the Writer’s Market book if you haven’t done so. I feel if you want to get published, you have to maximize your chances and open yourself to avenues you haven’t really tried before. With that in mind…I’m trying contests for the first time.

I was actually out with a buddy of mine who is also a writer last night, and like two great big wonderful cliches, we got drunk and bitched about finding the time to write. It’s a bit of a challenge in a day and age where money is truly king, especially if you have happen to live in Los Angeles. There are work-weeks, there are jobs we don’t necessarily want, there’s the busyness and then the trying to have a life part and then, well, somewhere, you have to find time for the writing. There’s nothing worse than expending all your energy at your pay-the-bills job, coming home to end the day, and you don’t really feel like writing, then the day passes, nothing was written, you feel bad about it, wash, rinse, repeat.

The world is not kind to the beginning writer, for time never really seems to be on our side. Alas, on that note, I really must be getting back to the work; it’s never just going to write itself.

Stay steadfast in the journey, and remember you’re doing it because you love it and it’s the only thing you can picture yourself doing. Or, you’re just not that good at anything else like me…….

Kidding.

Sort of.

And so it begins, a letter of introduction….

What is there to say in a first post? It’s something that’s always troubled me. Do you just dive right in and start posting all that meaningful content you promised yourself you would? Do you offer a poignant yet reserved look inside of yourself to give future readers that beginning oomph so they can really get to know you? Or perhaps the biggest question…does it even fucking matter?

Let’s say it doesn’t. But regardless, I do find it a more fulfilling feeling to at least give anyone reading some background, and let them know what’s going to be happening at this particular blog.

I’m 25 years old; that seems like a good place to start. I want to be a writer, something I haven’t been able to nail down or make less vague over time. Movies, video games, books, at this point in time the style or form at which I’d like to produce doesn’t really hold any sort of precedent. I simply want to make shit up and get paid for it, in some way, shape, or form. As most people seem to be aware these days, it’s a bit of a hard field to break into.

Regardless, I’ve decided that if there was ever a time to really just strap myself down and see if I have what it takes, it’s now. I’ve squandered time like every teenager and twenty-something, time out doing teenager and twenty-something things, dumb things, stupid things, sometimes just plain fun things. I’ve lacked a certain dedication and ambition to the craft, but thankfully, there isn’t really such a thing as “too late” in this world, as long as you’re still breathing and all that.

That pretty much sums it all up. I will be using this blog to catalog my journey, one I have begun to take more seriously than ever before. Hopefully there will be a couple triumphs here and there, although I’m sure there will be plenty of failures. A bit of a sad field, being a writer; even the best ones can find their hard work rejected. Perhaps we’re just a masochistic bunch, but we can delve into all that nonsense later on.

Ah, yes, about the booze…Well, let’s just say there are few things I find as fun when I’m drinking as I do writing. Sometimes I feel they go hand in hand, something I believe many a past writer might agree with. It’s a cliche, sure, but it’s a damn good one. I actually have a slight buzz from some Miller High Life at this very moment. My writing adventures will often come with some form of alcohol, so I might as well blog about that too.

To my right, by my foot, sits a notebook, a pen, and another beer. They’re calling to me so I’m going to get back to work (and to drinking). I hope if you read this you’ll be interested to follow my journey….at the very least, I can promise you some strange drunken ramblings somewhere down this dusty road.

You can call me the Mulk, the Drunken Wordsmith….pleased to meet you.