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May 21, 2020: The Writing Life: From the Annals of the Impulsive/Obsessive

I have for some time thought that I might have Asperger’s Syndrome; of course, on the low end of the spectrum, just enough to remain undiagnosed. Being diagnosed would be a real pain in the ass because then my identity would to a large part be defined by my diagnosis, this as opposed to my merely being eccentric.

I can say with great certainty that I am obsessive/compulsive. The writing has been a good outlet for this aspect of my personality – and to a large part it has enabled me to forge a more creative identity.

These are some of the thoughts I continue to have as I sort, sort, sort, sort. I finished up dealing with my Headwinds drafts, and then I quickly moved into a new phase of production. Today, I went through the work on my publication shelves in order to see if there was anything there that I had not yet listed on my vitae. Found a few things. I’ll finish this tomorrow. Tonight, it was cold and a bit chilly, so instead of riding horses, I instead went through my acceptance/reject folders.

141 Website files

This was pretty revelatory. Once again, I was surprised to find that so many rejection respondents did provide me with feedback, some of it lengthy. Over the years I should have been more encouraged by this than I actually was. Publication wise, I was doing better than I thought.

I published a number of poems that I’d forgotten had been taken. I have been thinking, I have work that’s better on hand.

I also found a lengthy letter in my reject files, from my father, 1994 – he actually acknowledged that I was a writer and had considerable tenacity. How could I have not made note of this? Of course, I wished he was around so I could now say thank you.

I can see where I have been my own harshest critic. The question is, is it too late to make a change? Quite obviously, if I continue to see myself as being an unaccomplished writer, it means that my critic will be the one with the success story.

I am next going to take the reject notices and do an online search, in an attempt to determine which literary and academic publications are still taking work.

Pete is right in saying that good file management is very important. So, I am going to turn over a new leaf and make this a central part of my new marketing strategy. I am going to bookmark the still existent literary and academic publications and I am going to both go through my hard drive and online files and get them organized.

My friend Dan LeMay said that the hard part isn’t getting organized, but rather, staying organized. There is considerable truth to what he says. Old habits are hard to break. This is going to be the ultimate lesson in mindfulness for me.

Next winter, I’ll go through old journals. Having a plan is also an essential part of organization.

Next: 142. 5/22/20: Going, going, but not Gone

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