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  1. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Waiting...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by deadrats, Oct 28, 2017.

    When you're waiting to hear back from places does it drive you crazy? I mean I understand we writers can expect to wait, but it always feels like forever. How long have you waited to hear back on something? I feel like I'm losing my mind over here.
     
  2. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    Six months is my longest. Five another time. These are outliers, though, in my experience.

    I always note down the estimated callback time on each short that's on submission, so I know when to keep an eye out. Helps keep it from seeming like an eternity when you have an approximate goal.
     
  3. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    I never wait. I refuse to. I focus on the sending off as the end of my part in the process and once it's sent off I move on to the next project, get as immersed as I can in it, and forget all about the earlier one. My memory dump is so complete I've gotten acceptances and had to look up the MS to figure out what book is being accepted.

    Probably easier to take that approach with novels, since making submissions isn't such a big part of the publishing process for them, but I think it would still be fairly effective for short stories.

    Yeah, publication is your goal, but once Story A has been submitted, your goal shifts to getting Story B written well enough that it will be published. That's the only thing you have under your control.
     
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  4. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Distracting yourself from waiting doesn't keep you from waiting. I've always got something new in the works, but waiting is waiting and it sucks. We're not all so good that we could forget what was accepted because probably everything we write is great.
     
  5. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    Well, if you don't think about waiting, are you really waiting? Like, if you're watching your favourite TV show, are you waiting for it to end? Not really, right?

    It's a mindset adjustment, for sure. But I think it's a useful one.

    In terms of the last half of the post--you've set yourself a big challenge. You've deliberately avoided submitting to places where you'd have a reasonable chance of acceptance and are instead expecting to rocket to the peaks immediately. Don't get snarky with me just because I've set different (more realistic) goals for myself.
     
  6. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Sorry, @BayView . You're totally right, and I apologize. Your trick has worked for me in the past, but I think I am just super frustrated lately. I've just got some stuff that's been out for long enough that it's more in the acceptance time range than the rejection range. You can track all this on duotrope. Maybe zoetrope is making me crazy because every day you can see who sent out a bunch of rejections and after how many days the submission was out. The thing is I've been here before. I've been in a similar situation and nothing was accepted. I feel like I just want to get it over with. And I know how hard what I'm trying to do is, but I'm really, really trying. I wasn't trying to upset you or anyone else.
     
  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Man, it's like WTF every day. It's like you know you're in for a long wait. You brace yourself and almost forget for several months, and then it's like, "Wait, they've still got that story." You wonder if it means anything that so much time has passed, but it probably doesn't. I think I need to learn to enjoy the moments where I am almost literary famous.
     
  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Seriously losing my mind over short story submissions. I've decided to do NaNo as a distraction. Anyone else doing NaNo?
     
  9. Lifeline

    Lifeline Into the Cold Supporter Contributor

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    Wrong thread, honey ;)

    But in terms of waiting: you know you're driving yourself crazy. You admit it yourself. Take @BayView 's advice and focus on something else. Anything. Trust her (and me). I would be by now lying on a psychiatrists couch if I couldn't shove everything that's not immediately necessary out of my mind. I'm, or was, a worrywart and learned it, so I believe you can as well. Make the conscious decision not to think of stuff you can't change, and then do it.

    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    - Reinhold Niebuhr
     
  10. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    NaNo is to hard. Back to obsessing about submissions. Lol. But I have a question for you guys. If a submission is out for a really long time that you can assume it is either getting serious consideration or lost, is it better to wait in silence or would you want an update even if it's just to say that it's still under consideration and the editors/agents need a little more time?
     
  11. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe you could adopt this tactic: Write them to say that you are withdrawing your story from them because you need to submit it somewhere else. If they really want it, maybe they'll respond right away with an acceptance (and a check for $$$$$$!!!!!!). If they don't really want it, they wouldn't have accepted it anyway, and you get another chance to submit it (possibly to a quicker-responding and more welcoming market) right away.
     
  12. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Don't think this would work in the short fiction literary scene and would likely just piss some editors off. Plus, so many places use a submission manager where all you have to do to withdraw a story is click a button. The editors don't want to be bothered with my nonsense. And, if anyone called my bluff, I would be screwed.

    I did get an email from one place this morning, saying my story has made it to the final round and the editors would get back to me in a month or two. Sure, just tack that on the months I've already been waiting. Still, this one has me quite excited. I don't EVER get emails like this.
     
  13. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Here's the eMail I got last Thursday. I suppose I should count myself lucky that I don't have to wait any more?

    Many thanks for sending "One gets into trouble", but I'm sorry to say that it isn't right for Interzone. I wish you luck placing it elsewhere, and hope that you'll send me something new soon.

    Best wishes,
    Andy
    Interzone


    On the plus side, I can now entered the rejected date and move on to the next magazine on my spreadsheet.

    ETA: I've only just noticed the final phrase ...send me something new soon... it may just be formal politeness, but I'm going to take it as "Your writing's good, shame about the story"!
     
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  14. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    @Shadowfax -- I would definitely send them another story if you have one ready. I haven't submitted there, but I think there are two positives in your otherwise form letter. One is, like you noticed, they hope you'll send them another story soon. That's easy enough to take off or add on to a form, but I don't think every place says this to everyone. I think you're taking it the right way. And it wouldn't hurt to mention in your cover letter that Andy said he hoped you would send more work so here's a story you think they will like even more. It might just draw a little more attention to your next submission to them. The other positive, that I see, is that this guy put his name down. Most of the time when I get rejected it is signed "The Editors." No name or real person in sight. Even when I have gotten great personal rejections, most of the time there is never a name attached to it. So, good job. I know it's a rejection and a form, but I still think this one came with some indicators that you've got some good stories in you. Good luck. And let us know if it works out for you in the future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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