A deadline was met last night. With 53 minutes to spare, I submitted 1,192 words of a short story to an online journal for consideration of publication. In the end, the piece feels naive and unfinished to me; it's rather clumsy and abrupt. I still haven't figured out how to "show, don't tell", and part of me wonders if it's ok that I be a tell-er rather than a show-er of stories?
I learned some good things in the attempt this time. I learned that it takes time to develop an idea, and that the idea will often need to be reworked several times before it works. I learned that while I may chip away at an assignment for weeks, I do seem to apply myself with more focus when I'm under pressure of an immanent deadline (53 minutes? Come on!). And, I am in the process of learning my own work habits - the times of day I am most able to write, when I feel most inspired, and what I need in order to work.
The story I wrote won't be accepted for publication, but it was invaluable in what it taught me. I feel more equipped to go on further, and that's important, isn't it? I'm not there yet, by any measure... but I'm getting there.