Going Zen or Fighting the Freak Out

on January 13, 2012

Seven weeks ago I submitted a short story to a publisher. I checked and double checked (and triple checked) to make sure I followed their submission guidelines exactly. According to those guidelines, their response time is six weeks.

See the math there?

So it’s a week past and three things are running through my brain.

1. Did they even get the submission???  Many agents/editors/publishers provide an auto-response when a submission has been received. If I were smart, I’d have saved this email. If they indeed sent one. Which I don’t know because my brain is a sieve and if they did send one, I didn’t save it. So I don’t know. But I’m trying to ignore this avenue.

2. Did they already reject me??? My spam folder is filled with 20-40 emails every morning and though I glance through all the “sent from” and “subject” lines before deleting, I can’t help but wonder if I might have missed this one. What if I was tired on a Tuesday and didn’t pay enough attention? What if they emailed for more information and I missed that too?? (I hadn’t thought of that until just now. Gah!) As you can imagine, I’m also trying to ignore this path to nowhere.

3. Perhaps they have an abundance of submissions and we did just have three holidays in a row so they’re probably just behind. (No explanation points required.) Now, this one makes the most sense. It’s logical and practical and, best of all, in no way evokes panic. Because I am a rational person (yes, writers can be rational) I am going to grab this particular wave and ride it smoothly along until the publisher gets around to responding.

I am choosing to be zen about this. Getting published requires determination, perseverance, skill, and talent. And a little luck. But perhaps most of all it requires patience. I can be patient. Sure I can.

Just ignore the twitch.