An Unabashedly Happy Progress Report

Back in the day, when I had an actual job (at a charitable foundation) and wore black pants (polyester) and heels (weensy) on a regular basis, I read a lot of progress reports. I used to wonder if the writers of these progress reports stressed over them before emailing them to me at the final hour, imagining some angry-nun-type receiving the news of their progress and grading them harshly. I wanted to tell them not to sweat it, but of course I couldn’t (then they probably wouldn’t have sent the reports at all). All I was really looking for, honestly, was a general indication that they were, more or less, still functioning as they said they would, still helping the children they had pledged to help. Life happens, I know. Sometimes plans don’t roll out exactly as expected. I’m always more understanding of other people’s mess-ups than I am of mine.

Now here I am, writing a progress report of my own. Do you have your best angry-nun hat on? Well, take it off, ’cause I done good!

Nine months ago, I committed myself to a goal of working toward getting published in two years and getting paid for it in five. (I wrote about it here.) My vague plan was to submit one article each month, so that I would have submitted 24 pieces by the end of two years, thinking that perhaps 23 rejections might be enough to appease the writing gods and lull them into letting one acceptance float by.

Progress to Date
I am stunned and pleased to report that an actual magazine made out of paper and sold at BookPeople has informed me that it will be publishing an article of mine in its upcoming issue on belief. The magazine in question is named Hip Mama and you can read about their really cool mission here. I know, it’s crazy and hard to believe. If you were here, I would show you the actual email to prove it to you.

Lessons Learned
There are some lessons I have learned in the nine months it took to birth this baby. Actually, there are many. But I’m still feeling too dazed to report on them. Sorry about that. I’ll do my best to flesh out this section for my annual report. Maybe by then my thyroid medicine will be working and my brain can help me out with some hard-core analysis. Until then, this brief list will have to suffice:

  • I don’t like submitting things for publication. At all, really. But this last little getting-accepted part has been nice.
  • Writing is great, but difficult. Not the writing, but the part where I must have confidence and courage.
  • Getting rejected is not so bad, particularly if it’s from an actual person. That feels almost like a gift.
  • What is discouraging is feeling pressure to squeeze myself into someone else’s box just so that I might increase my chances of publication. That part flattens my creativity, and in general, is to be avoided.
  • I am kind of a weirdo. Or maybe I should say unique voice. That sounds better.

That’s all for now. Like I said, I’ve been told my thyroid is under-functioning.

Articles submitted: 9
Monthly average: 1/month
Articles accepted: 1 (11%)
Articles rejected: 3 (33%)
Articles sucked into a black hole, or perhaps being used to prop up a wobbly table: 5 (55%)

Final Note
When I showed my husband the email from Hip Mama, an expression of surprise and delight flashed across his face. I asked him if he was proud of me, and he said, “I’m always proud of you; I’m just happy for you.” Happiness on top of happiness!

It is a possibility, even a likely one by my way of thinking, that the magazine discussed above will rescind their offer. If this happens, do not expect any further progress reports from me. In fact, your final report may be conveniently lost in the mail. Or you may find your emails get no response. If this occurs, please know that it is not because I do not want to report my failures; I truly do. It’s just that my laptop will have been broken, seeing as how I let the kids use it as the Communications Center for their Transformers Home-Base in the Great Autobots War against the Decepticons.

© Amy Daniewicz

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