The Three-Month Wait

When you submit to a magazine, the usual response rate is around three months. I’ve waited up to five before. Getting a rejection after five months is not the best fun in the world, I have to say. I’ve also had a rejection after a couple of days, and my impression is that the sooner you hear back, the more likely you’re being kicked to the curb. A long wait is encouraging.

I try very hard to be patient, out of a desire not to tempt fate. No news is good news, perhaps? But three months seems a long time when you’re in the middle of it. How do people manage? I think they must submit often enough that they forget what waiting period is coming to an end, and when.

I need to write more is a constant refrain. I’ve found a weekly planner spread that looks good for sticking in a filofax and keeping a good record of my work. The idea is that the staring white spaces will prompt one to do something, just to fill it up. It’s an exercise in slacker-shaming. Here’s hoping it works.

If I were a sensible person, I would just do it, without needing such structures.

A friend of mine is a writer, and was hammering away at his work last night while I was bugging him about fountain pens. “Working on a Friday night?” said I. “You’re so productive. What’s your secret?”
“Um. Promising I would. And then panicking. And also the fear.”

That sweet sweet blessing of a deadline. What could be better?

The fiction piece I submitted for my university paper last semester was something I dragged out of my brain a few days before it was due. I confess to you that I am very proud of that little piece. (I got an A+! And some exceedingly gratifying comments from my tutor.)

No, you can’t read it. It’s in literary limbo; I’m waiting to hear whether or not it’s been accepted.

And crossing my fingers.

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