I'm not sure how it happened to me but at some point in the last ten years, I stopped submitting my work to places and people I didn't know. Well, not entirely. But virtually so.
I'm not sure if this shut-down can be attributed to battle fatigue induced by one too many rejections on the heels of another or if it has something to do with my work at the Dramatists Guild where I find myself spending more and more of my energy on a crusade of my own making to shake playwrights free of what I consider to be a misguided fantasy that sending a script to a literary department and waiting is somehow a key to something more than frustration.
So, here's the thing. A good friend of mine told me about a contest that seems very well suited to my most recent play -- my sprawling history play about the rise of young Teddy Kennedy. And last year, I missed the deadline. So this year, she very considerately called to remind me about it.
And shame on me, I missed the deadline again!
So, here's the thing. It is true that most of the best stuff in an artistic life is usually created from scratch rather than handed to us on a silver platter but, still, as my friend reminds me, there are other reasons to submit. For one, you never know who might be reading those pages you've popped in the mail. And even if you don't win (in the case of a contest) you may win a secret new fan.
So I'm going to work hard to pull myself out of this exile of my own design and hereby resolve to submit at least one play a month for the next twelve months.
What are other folks feelings about this whole can of worms? I know it's a loaded topic and I can't think of anyone who's lukewarm on the question. So, please, share your wisdom with me now.