I wrote a letter yesterday. Just a single page. Offering reprint rights to an American publication for a column I write about being married to a car nut. No big deal right?

Then why did it take me six months to do? Talk about procrastination. Sure, I could give myself a month or two to research the market, read a few back issues and see if there was anything about them on writersmarket.com, but what was I really waiting for?

I even cleaned the screen door at the front of the house before sending this letter. And contemplated ironing - I gave that up as a New Year's resolution back in 1997. Somehow I had let fear take over my body with regard to this teeny weenie letter-writing task. And I think I know why.

I mean, it's one thing to have an article idea rejected - since it was just an idea. But this is putting my own work out there to be rejected. And it's a lot scarier than sending out my usual query letters.

Now I have a better understanding of how other writers feel when they send out complete articles and manuscripts for consideration. It's like sending the kids off to school for the first time, I think. (Remember, I have houseplants, not children.) Will those written words be okay on their own? Will they be bullied around and tossed into a slush pile? Or will they be sent back home immediately with a note?

Shoot, I forgot all about the note that will come back in that self-addressed stamped envelope. Rats.