Source: Dan Meth via Buzzfeed
Source: Dan Meth via Buzzfeed

Whoops, that title is a bit misleading. I’m not actually published right now, but I’m in the process of trying to get published! And like most things that we really want to accomplish in life, it isn’t easy, emotionally AND mentally (and maybe just a little physically tiring, but only due to the emotional and mental exhaustion.)

I submitted Stained, a story I shared with you all on here, as well as an academic non-fiction piece I wrote three years ago on Silent Hill 2, and how the childhood innocence of two characters is what protected them throughout the game. The teacher whose class I wrote it for (who also happens to be my absolute favorite college professor) told me I should submit it, because she thought it was amazing! I mean, I did put a lot of thought and analysis into that one, and the fact that  she loved it was flattering enough to where I felt it was time to send it in, and try to make it a star. 

Of course, the process of trying to get a piece of writing published isn’t just as easy as throwing a word document into cyberspace (I mean, I guess it can be, though? Anything is possible!) I had to review both submissions for basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, as well as have my Silent Hill 2 paper reviewed by another set of eyes (thanks, Kasie!) Then, you have to write a query letter to sum up what you’re trying to do with the written piece. After all that, you get to wait for the dreaded email back, which could take MONTHS, to tell you whether or not they like your piece enough to publish it. The first time I submitted a piece of writing for publication, I think it took them six months to get back to me. Six months of dread does not do your psyche any good, but alas, this is the life of a writer.

That feeling you get right after you submit a piece of writing for publication 😬 welp, it happened. Now we wait.

A post shared by Jeffrey Brutlag (@ageekinthecommunity) on


Aside from the hit to the psyche, what matters most is that I did it. I submitted works of mine that I’m very proud of, and made one more step in the right direction as far as becoming a published writer. Since this was such a big goal that I set myself for 2017, I barely even notice the dread I feel about whether or not they’ll accept my pieces, because I’m still on the high of actually clicking that “submit” button. It’s been years since I’ve tried submitting something else to a literary magazine, so finally getting back into it really ignited the fire in me to keep creating more written pieces that I can be proud of! (Though in reality, some might end up being garbage. Yay, being an artist!)

I think this is something that a lot of us can struggle with, when it comes to achieving goals. It’s not that we don’t want to accomplish our goals, but the desire to reach them, and the actually process of getting them done are two very different things. Saying we want something to happen gives us the energy to do it, and maintains the desire for the goal to actually happen, but the real satisfaction comes from actually doing the work. I felt so much better about the process of getting published after actually working on it, knowing that what I’m doing is what I need in order to succeed. Despite knowing it may not be easy, sort of like how I know getting published won’t be easy, doing the work and not worrying about the difficulty is really what matters in accomplishing your goals. It’s easy to get swept away in the daydream of succeeding, and though the daydream may be a necessary step, pulling ourselves into reality to make those dreams come true is where things truly get magical.

When you’re working toward a goal, what are some steps you take in order to motivate yourself to do the work in order to achieve it? Let’s get motivational in the comments! 

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