Numbers are my friends. They are the scaffolding to build a little structure for my monkey mind. I’m always motivated by the goal of some looming number. Twenty laps in the pool, 500 words before breakfast, $25 a week into savings. The Catholic schoolgirl within loves to check the numbers off, loves to get a gold star for extra effort. As a mind game, it works well for me.
Last year my goal was to send my writing out into the world at least 100 times. I kept a spreadsheet and it felt good to record each effort and see them tally up. My goal was simply to send my work out, NOT a production or a publication, though I hoped that would be a by-product. You can’t win if you don’t play.
I put my work out into the world 112 times, 112 love letters to the possibilities of my artistic life. Should I be upset that most languished? That rejection notices were the frequent result of that completed circuit? No, I had my proud 112 gold stars and 112 pairs of new eyeballs on my work.
There were a lot of rejection notices—a lot. I wished I’d thought of that earlier and found an app to zap them before they hit my inbox. But 5% of them panned out into something more – an inquiry, a reading, a workshop opportunity. 5% is enough to grow on.
And here’s one that made it through – I’m a semi-finalist for Little Black Dress INK festival. “Señor Adria” will be performed at Red Earth Theatre in Sedona AZ on Sunday. They’ve been great to work with and what was particularly satisfying was that this was a peer-reviewed competition—other female playwrights like me looking for their own 5% edge and putting themselves out in the world. Thanks for helping me put this one through the gate, ladies—I salute you all!