post-post partum

have you ever had that moment after posting an article or other writing job – or even submitted to a contest – and then realized…”damn, there’s a glaring mistake/plot hole/three-legged centipede right in the middle of my submission.”

welcome to post-post-partum depression.

like Santa, you checked it twice. maybe three times. you just thought you caught every spelling mistake where you meant to type “the” but it only says “he.” you thought.

but you thought wrong.

and there’s no going back now. you’ve posted it for a stranger to see. and now they’ll know something about you that you only just now discovered: you’re a moron.

we’ve all been there.

i call this condition “post-post-partum depression,” because – well – really, just because i think it sounds clever. that’s really the only reason.

for those of you who don’t know, though, “post-partum” refers to the time after the birth of a child (you know, that thing where a human explodes out of the genitals of another human – kinda weird system). “depression” refers to “depression.”

we writers, in a sense, give birth to our work. but it goes unread unless we post it, whether that be a job, online article, contest, etc. but there’s always the fear that you will realize that your precious work that you so labored to bring into this world is (surprise) fatally flawed. and that can make you depressed.

the one upside to “blogging,” i think, is that you can rectify these errors until you are perfectly content with the results. not so with other things you might post, though. and so, with each post one makes, there must be a mental preparation – “what will i discover post-post this time?”

i remember in my younger days submitting a screenplay for a contest for the first time. i’d worked hours on it, months even, spent tons of time scouring it for mistakes, improving dialogue, etc. now, even with all this, it was still pretty shitty, but i was proud of it.

then i submitted it.

only to discover the very next day that a lot of my formatting was wrong, wrong, wrong. now – while this may not affect the quality of the story/writing itself, i knew what this meant for the contest – the judge would take one look at it, immediately see the formatting errors and know that this was the work of an amateur. and s/he would have been very much in the right. i was an amateur. i think i still ham. am, i mean. sorry, i’m hungry.

don’t give in to your post-post-partum depression, though. keep writing, keep editing, keep refining. no work is perfect. i’ve found spelling and grammar mistakes in even Oscar-winning screenplays and best-selling novels. it’s okay.

now breath in, out, in, out, in…good, good…keep it up…


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