Still. The OCD is strong in the Force. It makes me doubt myself. Makes me read over the submission guidelines again. Points out the sentence that reads "Please e-mail all submissions as a single attachment". Reminds me that I split my submission into three attachments. Laughs at me as I bang my head against a wall.
There are six more weeks before I reach the fail date for this submission. I'll probably keep documenting my growing neurosis here as time passes. Admittedly, this is a horribly unprofessional thing to do; but there are much worse ways I could be shooting myself in the foot, so what the hell?
(To any of the God-Editors who might be reading this: know that I humbly prostrate myself before you, and beg your forgiveness for any offense I may have caused. But I don't make blood offerings without a signed contract.)
* * *
Penn & Teller, of all people, recently reminded me of Malcolm Gladwell and his assertion that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of, well, anything.
My secret identity is a math geek, and he decided to run the numbers. If I practice writing for an hour a day (reasonable for a man with a wife and a day job), and if I assume that I haven't put in any practice at all up until now, it would take me 27 years(!) to become a master writer. I'm 27 years old now. If I'd been writing every day since birth, I'd have become a master sometime last month!
Clearly grade school was a waste of time.
If I further assume that being a master writer will guarantee fame, fortune and high sales (which is not necessarily true), and if I quit my day job to spend eight hours a day doing nothing but writing, I would just about be ready to write the next Great American Novel at thirty, and could conceivably get it published by thirty-two.
Unfortunately I need to eat occasionally over the next three years, and since I don't have a winning lottery ticket in my pocket (wait, check... nope, nothing there), I need to hold down a paying job. So it's an hour a day, every day, in pursuit of mastery; and I hope you'll all join me when I'm a sexagenarian and kicking off my world book tour. I'll be touring with Neil Gaiman's head in a jar.