How have I remained unpublished for so long?
Indecision has played a critical role in my success as an unpublished writer.
I once spent two hours trying to select a drill at Lowes. So many factors to consider.
- Cord or cordless? Cordless would provide a certain amount of flexibility, while a drill that plugged right into the power grid offered a more substantial drilling experience. And if I was going to go with a cord, how long should the cord be?
- Brand. Black and Decker, too low end. Makita or Dewalt, perhaps too Tim the Toolman.
- Color. I prefered an aesthetically teal to harsh road sign yellow or soul-draining black or bland gray.
- And foremost, Price. I could only afford so much after all.
Making a decision based on just one of these factors was difficult enough, but all three. The permutations and combinations boggled my mind.
Because I am able to apply this level of indecisiveness to a mundane activity like buying a drill, my career as an unpublished short story writer has thrived. So many indecisions to ensure that a work of fiction remains incomplete.
- What should the margins be? The conventional 1″ margins all around or am I feeling nostalgic for the 1.25″ right and left margins of Word 2003?
- What font should I use?
- Should the Title be descriptive, cryptic, or a metaphor? I usually vacillate back and forth, left and right, among a half dozen to fifty different titles as I craft my story. At any point that I become productive, I can stop and reconsider what the Title should be. This exercise can also be applied to the story’s opening and its ending.
- I can change my mind about what a character should be named and spend an inordinate amount of time changing Jedediah to Rufus or Sylvia to Sylvania and then back to Sylvia and then to Kate.
Even if I inadvertently complete a story, plenty more delays can be accomplished. The Writer’s Market really becomes handy. So many details—submission policy, word counts, genres and subgenres, local or national or international, new writers, submission and acceptance rates, pay, and whether the name of the publication is catchy enough—to consider as I select to what literary journal or consumer magazine I should submit my short story.
I make Hamlet look like a Tom Brady quickly and efficiently moving the ball downfield for a touchdown in two minutes.