I track my submissions using the The Grinder, an excellent Duotrope alternative created by David Steffen and Anthony Sullivan over at Diabolical Plots. In the The Grinder, the status of my submissions are color coded, going from black to orange to red as they approach, enter and passed the estimated response-time windows for a market.
Half of my submissions are now in the orange or red, which means I’m into or have passed the average expected response window. I know this is generally a good thing–acceptances at most publications take longer than rejections, so I’ve likely gotten past the first readers and advanced into the next round of the process. That doesn’t mean my stories will get picked, but they have likely made it into that exclusive 5-10% of manuscripts to hit the editor’s desk for final consideration. That’s a nice place to be, so I just keep telling myself to be patient…to stop compulsively checking The Grinder a dozen times a day…to keep writing instead….