Bona Fide Writer

Right now I am telling Sonja that she has to wait until I write this piece and read it aloud in class. Then she will have the answer to her hopeful question–did I submit something to Valley’s site? No. Not a final answer, just the current state. Not yet. Why? Well…

The fire went out last Wednesday afternoon after the class in which I wrote a really good ten-minute ramble. Too pooped.

Then the confidence went out on Friday–eww, no, just eww. I can’t, I can’t.

Next, the weekend arrived, huzzah! Time is flying!

On Monday I opened my laptop and actually went to the submissions page, read the guidelines, and bookmarked it. There, that’s enough intent for one day. Baby steps.

Tuesday I felt sick and scared all over again, but I forced myself to envision transcribing the piece from my writing journal into Word, and managed to think a lot about how I kind of, sort of didn't care about the piece anymore. That’s who I was last week, not who I am today, and the drive home last night was so easy, and so sunny, and so happy that last week’s piece feels like a lie. Is a lie. I also envision Valley verbally slapping me about how it’s all true, me replying, “Yes, but…” Then I drank bourbon, watched Downton Abbey, and went to bed.

This morning I thought I could at least drag my laptop to Panera during breakfast, so that the transcribing and–gasp!–maybe even the submitting would be done before class. I decided that this was an artificially unnecessary deadline, and upon deciding it, it became true.

So I think I've made a lot of progress during the past week, in a circle, right back to this writing table, which seems to qualify me as a bona fide, guaranteed writer. The one thing still spurring me forward to submission, that is, the one thing I’m using to spur myself forward, to prick at my skin like a pin, is seeing the names of other writers pop up daily with their own successful ten-minute submissions. I know that I've written alongside many of them, respect all of them, and do not judge myself as anything but equal to them.


Christy Schragal occasionally edits for others, always writes for herself, and currently thinks about both while carpooling all over her adopted city of Richmond, VA.