I like to think I’m a patient person, but I am of the generation that grew up on a steady dose of MTV (when it actually used to play music), 24-hour news cycles, and the internet. I know I’m a lot less patient than my parents, so I’m not surprised that I find myself compulsively checking email as I wait to hear back on stories that I’ve sent off to publishers.
Even though publishing is crawling into the digital—a.k.a. modern—age, it’s still a painfully slow business. While there are exceptions, it can take months for an editor to review a story and respond. For someone used to measuring time by Google’s fractions-of-a-second search engine, that’s a long time. To make matters worse, the responses are generally rejections. I try to take my mind off the waiting by writing another story: write, submit, forget…write, submit, forget.
Maybe I’ll hear back on one of my submissions today. Given the likely response, do I want to? Of course I do; I’m a writer. I’ve actually chosen a path that is a gauntlet of ego-deflating punishment. But I’m also an optimist. Maybe the next response will be an acceptance that propels me into my happy dance. Maybe I should check my—no, I should get back to putting words on screen instead.