Posted: July 12, 2011 in Motivation, Process

I submitted a short story to a few publications this month and I’m now officially in the waiting phase, which sucks.

Every time I get a new email alert I think, “Maybe it’s them.”

When an unknown number pops up on my cell I practice a few hellos in search of my professional voice, which quickly turns to disappointment when it’s an appointment reminder or the wrong number.

I’m currently following a blogger named Kat Richter (see link below) who writes about her online dating experiences and yes, I realize it is unlike me to be intrigued by the romanticism of others, but her last few posts are something I can completely relate too during this part of my writing phase.

Sending your work to an Agent or submitting an entry for competition is a lot like pursuing a relationship.

First, you create your first impression by writing a query or cover letter. You can’t just write “I’m awesome, please pick me!”

You have to woo them with a catchy hook, maybe some humor, show off some intellect, and intrigue. You need to let them know you’re interested in building something together, but not appear desperate. The last thing you would say is, “I’ve submitted to nine hundred people and now it comes down to you, my only hope.”

Then you wait, pacing back and forth, looking for the mail carrier, checking your emails every hour, and double-checking that your phone has enough charge to last a conversation in case they call.

You dream about the day you meet, will you click at first sight, sign a contract, and write happily ever after.

Within a week, you receive an envelope with your own handwriting across the front and though you know its just confirmation that they got your submission, you hope it is so much more.

After a few weeks have gone by your thoughts start spiraling deeper into a world of negativity and binge eating. Why haven’t I heard anything? They said they would get back to me in one to eight weeks. It has been seven weeks, do they really need one more, what if they misplaced my submission, and should I send it again, maybe call?

I have decided there’s only one way to stop my racing mind and solve this problem. Keep sending more work out until I cannot remember who was supposed to get back to me by when. I just hope they respect me in the morning.

For more about Kat’s blog check out:


  1. Dwayne says:

    You’re too funny, Sarah. But I feel your anxiety.

    Good luck with the submission, and let us know WHEN, not IF, they decide to publish your short story.


  2. Exactly. Luckily, the process takes so long sometimes that I’ve nearly forgotten about by the time I hear anything. Ok, that’s totally a lie. I never forget about an open submission, but hey, my email box is a lot more organized when I’m waiting :p

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