Step away from the manuscript

It all started when Martha Silano posted about the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. The deadline for electronic submissions is April 1.

I thought, “No, I don’t have a full-length manuscript right now.”

Then I thought, “I have a 40-page chapbook manuscript. Maybe I could find 8 or 10 more poems from the project and polish them up. By the end of the week.” Hmm…

So that’s what I’ve been doing. In and around work and the gym and pouring wine and working on website copy for the winery and devouring Where’s You Go, Bernadette? and the most minimal household chores I can get away with and worrying about getting my tax documents together, I’ve been delving back into these poems, trying to find the ones that are close to working and get them closer.

And that’s what I love. That’s what makes me happy.

But all that other stuff needs to happen, too. Plus April’s writing prompts, which you’ll hear more about on Friday.

How do you balance writing with all the other stuff–both the drudgery and the wonderful? What tricks do you use to find the time? (Hint: I think denial counts.)

And if you’ve got a manuscript, have you sent it in yet?

Back to the poems… for a few minutes, at least.