Writing fiction often feels like a game of hurry up and wait. It can be weeks, even months, before I learn whether my story is accepted for publication.
My mystery writer friend Steve and I unknowingly both submitted short stories to the same anthology. The last time we submitted to the same publication, sadly neither of our stories were selected. This time around, I really hope one of us gets in.
Having someone to commiserate with has made the long wait a little more bearable. One week after the purported selection date, neither of us had heard whether our stories had been accepted. We began to ping back and forth. Our brief emails went something like this:
“Nope. Been checking my email every three milliseconds, so I couldn’t have missed any news.”
I saw a notice on a writing loop. The anthology choices would not be made for another week. That week came and went.
“Me too. Not obsessing. As much.”
We are writers. We know the waiting game. Steve reminded me of the most vital fact concerning waiting for a decision on a submission: get busy working on the next story. But it never seems to get easier.
For this blog, I decided to look up some quotes on patience. I am not the most patient person. Even waiting for winter to end and spring to begin is a bit agonizing. Frankly, I need a reminder about this difficult to master virtue.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting.
Work hard. And have patience. Because no matter who you are, you're going to get hurt in your career and you have to be patient to get through the injuries.
Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.
Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
I especially like that last one! I am confident that, for good or bad, Steve and I will learn the status of our stories soon. I’ll announce the news here on my blog.
Catherine, I can certainly identify with your blog about waiting and patience. Whenever I submit something, I tell myself to simply forget it and go on to something else. But it's always there, in the back of my mind. That nagging voice that says, "Check your email. Maybe there's something. Check the mail box. Maybe there's something. Is that the phone? Maybe..."
1/27/2015 02:00:24 am
Hi Maris - yes, it is just about impossible to make yourself "forget" that you have a submission sitting on an editor's desk! Thanks for stopping by.
1/30/2015 02:05:53 am
Patience is a virtue,Virtue is a grace.Grace is a little girl who wants to win the race--Sorry, Dick King-Smith.
1/30/2015 02:24:38 am
Excellent advice, Madeline! I do leave my internet off while working on my fiction. I find that very effective to stop me from checking every email to see if it is a submission response.
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