I emailed the January 18th entry, 'Next Stop Brooklyn', to a newspaper and received a response from the Managing Editor:
‘I would love to consider your piece, but we require them to be between 750 and 850 words. Yours is only around 325. If you wish us to still consider it, please add to it and resend. Thanks.’
I decided to write something different for my second attempt. Instead of doing as I usually do, (having a glimmer of an idea, jumping in and letting the thing take on a life of its own), I followed Mark’s suggestion. I created an outline beforehand.
I was armed with a plan and a direction, which is good. I wrote with more intellect than instinct, which is bad. What I wrote was boring. It sounded like a school essay. I thought about it again while soaking in the bath tonight and decided on a different angle. Tonight, I am starting yet again.
I tell myself that rewriting is not a loss. It’s normal. This is what writing is. What I’m going through is like doing push ups. At first, you struggle with your body. There is pain. The next time you do push ups, you’re a little better. The struggle is less terrible, the pain less.
You try and you try. Eventually you’re pushing up and pushing up, and before you know it, you’re putting one arm behind your back, easy as pie.