Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Life Lessons Essay

Most of you know that I wanted to enter this contest for Real Simple Magazine. The subject was "When did you realize that you were a grown-up?" I knew instantly what I would write about, and had all summer to work on it. I ripped out the essay advertisement and kept it on my desk to remind myself to get to work. And of course, each day that went by I'd think "Tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll start the process." (If you're curious, I wrote about the death of my mom.)

Not so much.

Fast forward to last Friday. Deadline is Labor Day, four days away! I write out what happened, but there's no emotion involved, it only listed the events of what happened. Matt it's ok, but that I need to tell my story. As I get feedback from my friends who are writers, I hear the same thing. So I dive a little deeper, and get more involved. But my emotional core is still locked tight. This isn't a place I want to go, mostly because it's hard to get back to center when I'm in that place. So, Labor Day arrives and the essay still isn't ready. So I sit at Matt's desk and he helps me edit and tighten up the phrases. I crack, I start to sob, and walk away, telling him that I just need a break.

And then, ahead of time, it's done. I get ready to send the essay. I type out "please consider this essay blah blah blah" and press send. Done!

The email bounces back.

I re-send. Bounced back. Again. Bounced back.


I hop on the phone. Call customer service. Closed because it's Labor Day. Freaking out and over-emotional, I get into bitch mode and twitter about what's going on and does anyone know someone at Real Simple mag?

Enter co-worker Meghann. VP of Publicity and awesome at Roadside. She gives me an email address to one of the associate editors. YAY! I email the contact explaining how I got her email address and could she forward my essay on? Thank you! Ah, relief.

I call customer service this morning. They tell me I wasn't the only person having trouble and here's the alternative email address you can send your essay to. YAY! So I email my essay to that address and send another to the A.E. to please disregard my last email and thanking her for her time.

I would love to share this essay with you, but contest rules clearly state that upon submission the essay becomes property of the magazine. I don't want to risk publishing it because I could be disqualified.

That said, I think writing this essay has helped me move on to the next stage of grief, whatever that is. I know that whether I win or don't, the point is that I did it...


But I still want to win!


Lena said...

I'm so proud of you for writing it and for sharing your journey with us. HUGS!!!

Mary said...

I'm glad you did it-I'm sure it will win. You are a good writer.

emilie said...

You made it! i want to tell you again how much I enjoyed being able to read your work in progress... I love the drafts that "aren't quite there yet" but show so many little gleaming bits of potential--I'm so glad you got it in! Fingers crossed!