Friday Speak Out!: A Little Bit Done, Guest Post by Brittnay Buckner

Friday, September 30, 2011
A Little Bit Done

by Brittnay Buckner

I'll keep it short and sweet: I submitted 21 pages of my work to an online contest!

It's been about two years since I've submitted any of my work to a contest or for a fellowship. Though I can easily blame this on the nine and a half months of pregnancy, the three and a half months of being a new mom, and a 10-month stint at a job where I had the boss from hell, the real reason is that I gave up on myself. Like every writer (I hope), I believe that my writing is good and worthy, however, I never felt like I received enough validation for my writing "out there" in the real world. I was rejected from prestigious writers colonies and fellowships. We're probably talking about 10 attempts.

Prior to my two-year hiatus from putting my work out there, I was also taking writers classes and got positive responses to my work. But because I was not selected for these classes, I just had to pay the fee, I just didn't see the responses as legit enough.

I continued to write, but I gave up looking for places to publish my work. I didn't allow people to see my work in draft form. I never finished anything. Only two 500+ page first draft manuscripts stuffed on an abandoned bookshelf in my office-turned-junkroom to show for it.

This year, when I turned 30 (yes the proverbial 30) I decided it was time to put my work out there. Again. Whether it be through writing this blog, finishing small chunks of work and asking for writer-friends to read it and give me feedback, or submitting to contests, I need to do it --regularly--to build my confidence and to begin moving in my dream as a writer.

The submission to this contest marks an accomplishment for me. As a writer. A real-life writer. Progress.

* * *
Brittnay Buckner is the author of “Singular Beast: A Conversation with Jamaica Kincaid” published in the journal Callaloo in 2008. She recently launched a blog for writer-mamas called "New Mama Wannabe Writer Worker Bee Wife" at She is currently working on a memoir. She lives in Washington DC with her husband and three month-old daughter Zora.

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



BECKY said...

Hi Brittnay! Loved your post. I just went to your blog and tried to leave two comments, but neither one seemed to take. Aacckkk!

Unknown said...

Bravo Brittnay!
Remember what it was like to be a new Mom with all the extras that come with this stage of life.
So great for you to put your work out there again!

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Good for you for getting back into the game...and with a baby, nonetheless! I remember how jam-packed my days were then. Congratulations and keep at it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brittnay,
Having thet "boss from hell" doesn't do much for one's self esteem or enthusiasm...I've been there! Kudos for regaining your balance and pursuing your dreams!

P.S. Zora is just a doll! Congrats!

Evia Inez said...

Thank you all for taking the time to leave me with such encouraging words! I need hear this now, especially as I begin my transition back to work. Finding the time to write will be a challenge, but a necessary one.


Anonymous said...

Good job, Brittnay! Keep on writing.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Brittnay! Keep on persisting when it comes to following you passion for writing. Caroline and I really enjoyed catching up with you and Zora this afternoon.


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