Saturday, December 31, 2016

Take a Shot

The sidewalk in front of the post office was speckled with frozen bits of ice. The outside walls were still decorated with wreaths and snow blanketed the lawn. The journey up the steps never seemed so long. Not because it was cold out or that I had any trouble negotiating them, but because of the paper I held in my hand.
It was my last submission for this year.
I milled around the lobby looking for an appropriate envelope. Finally, after about 10 minutes, I asked the clerk. I held up an envelope and asked how much it would be to send it. $22, she replied. I just wanted an envelope and regular delivery, so she pointed me in the proper direction.
I wrote my address in the top left hand corner, then proceeded to address it to Boyds Mills Press in Honesdale, PA. Boyds Mills Press publishes children's books. The magazine, Highlights, is also part of their publishing family.
After I finished addressing the envelope, I walked up to the counter, handed it to the clerk, paid the postage, and then watched as she carefully placed it on a shelf to be swept away some time later. I could barely breathe as I thanked her, turned around, and walked outside.
The cold air hit my lungs and after a few deep breaths I was feeling a little more at ease. Obviously, the hope of any writer is to become published, but putting your work out there to be judged and critiqued can be trying.
I am glad I sent it out. The worst thing that could happen is that it gets rejected and I get a form letter stating that fact. If that happens, I can just put it in the pile with the other rejection letters. If my work passes the test and it is to be published, then of course it was worth it.
We miss 100% of the shots we don't take. So say goodbye to 2016, you can cherish your memories, but it is time to look forward. If you want to make a resolution for 2017, let it be this; take a shot.
Happy New Year!

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