Writing submissions and fecal faux pas

I’m a little run down as I write this, partially because my wife and I have been potty-training our son for the past six days, and partially because I have not stopped writing and submitting since the middle of last year.
The last part first:

In the middle of last year, I resolved to submit writing to several different outlets throughout the course of the year. Some of these outlets (humor publications) were submitted to weekly, while others (Film/script festivals) were submitted to only on a monthly basis. Occasionally there would be other opportunities that floated by me for which I was encouraged to submit. Two such opportunities presented themselves to me early this year in the form of two separate short-form play writing contests.

As it stands right now, I have one script complete and ready for entry early next month. Some stories reveal themselves to you quickly and revisions and structure come fast. Other stories, however, are a patchwork of starts and stops. One piece is abandoned for a better concept, some concepts are rebooted three at a time in hopes that one will reveal itself to be better than the others. This has been my experience with the second play due in March. Right now I have three unfinished scripts and fourth one that I just started this morning. These stories are all different ranging from charming science fiction to existential horror. I have no idea which one will be finished or if I will make the deadline at all. That’s not true. I’ll make the deadline, because the thought of not making it gnaws at my brain like an angry dog.

All the while I’ve been tinkering with these, I’ve been submitting to and getting rejected from a variety of humor publications. The rejections I receive, I’ve been posting to social media so that they can be a reminder to others that rejection doesn’t kill you, I can’t tell if it makes you stronger, but it certainly won’t kill you. Maybe these public admissions of failure are a confession to myself. I don’t know. I’d be lying if I said that these particular rejections weren’t wearing me down a bit, but the thought of not creating a joke a week and submitting to a professional magazine makes me feel worse than the rejection, so there’s that.

If you want to read some of these rejected projects, you could join my Patreon. For as little as a dollar a month, you could read and watch projects before they become public and that money goes back into things like application fees to film festivals and replacing equipment.

The first part last:

My son is now learning how to use the toilet in a way consistent with the rest of society. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. So far our successes have outnumbered our failures, but, as any parent can tell you, this process is frustrating for both parent and child. One doesn’t want to punish the child to harshly for a urine or fecal related faux pas, because that’s how you get serial killers. However, one also doesn’t want their child wearing diapers into adulthood. It’s a tricky line to walk. A line that has left me mentally exhausted with persistent thoughts of my son’s bowel tectonics on a phone timer every 30 minutes. I am tired.

I also know that some of you enjoy my little tales of parenthood, partially because you do not see yourself having kids and enjoy my frank descriptions of my difficulties, instead of your other “annoying friends on Facebook who post endlessly about their kids being precious baby angels.” The truth is, I do find it difficult to tell people what it is really like having a child and rearing them in a way that will make them a productive member of society or, failing that, not the next Ted Bundy without relying on such language. Being a parent is rewarding, but also a pain in the ass almost constantly.

I hope your new year is going well and that positive plans are coming together.

Take care,

-Rob