The Waiting Game

I checked the little leather notebook where I write down where I’ve submitted work – an idea I picked up from my mentor Carolyn – and did a quick count. I’m currently waiting to hear back from 11 magazines or anthologies about my various stories (it was 13 last week), some of which have had my work for the better part of a year. I’ve touched base with those editors, though, and unfortunately backlog is one of the many things that we writers have to cope with.

And so I’m playing the waiting game – which admittedly sucks sometimes, especially when you’re submitting to magazines that don’t allow simultaneous submissions. I’m finding that even in the few years that I’ve been seriously writing, more and more editors are accepting the necessity of allowing writers to submit work to multiple places at once, but there are still a lot that are against it. Hopefully that continues to change.

The important lesson here, fellow writers, is to not let the long haul to publication get you down. If you’re like me, writing for the joy of it, that should be easy to do. But it can be frustrating when months go by without any word, especially if it takes longer to get back to you than editors predict. The best solution to this? Keep writing. If consistent publication is your goal – and that can mean something different to each of us – then you want as many stories ready to submit as possible. Unless waiting on 20 magazines instead of 11 will just drive you more crazy.

Isn’t being a writer fun?


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