Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Friday, August 27, 2010

Forgetting About It

I have this uncanny ability to forget about my submissions.  Well, I don't forget about them exactly. I just send them out, make a note of the market's stated response times, and then I just let it fall out of my head. When the proper amount of time has passed, a little alarm goes off in my head. "Have you heard from X market yet? Maybe you should have heard from them by now." I don't always act immediately on the little mental reminder. Usually another week or two will pass and I'll think. "Oh, yeah. Maybe I should check on market X. I haven't heard from them yet." Then I'll go and check their return times again. Check the Black Hole. Worry that maybe I missed an email somewhere. Maybe contact the market if enough time has passed. Maybe just let it drop out of mind again.

This ability makes waiting that much easier. I'm not all tense and worried about my submissions all the time. (Only sometimes.) It can also shoot me in the foot, though. Like a story I just this week started thinking I should have heard about by now. I double-checked when I'd submitted it, and it was a sufficiently long time ago to get me to check the market again. I found it the magazine had shut down. Grrr. Guess I should have checked earlier. Anyway, the story is off to another market and put safely out of mind again.

28 comments:

Summer Ross said...

I have the ability to do this too. Though it takes me a couple weeks first cause I'm all excited I submitted something. :)

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Oh wow. I wish I could do that! I check my email like a frantic chicken. well, I'm kinda allowed to, seeing as I need my email for work, but that really shouldn't be an excuse. haha. cherish it. It's way better than stressing about it believe me!

Nicole Zoltack said...

That's how I am too, with short story submissions at least. In fact, one I've been waiting over 400 days to hear back from! I use duotrope.com to keep track of my submissions and use that to determine if I should send the market a nudge email or not.

Cherie Reich said...

You don't know lucky you are to be able to do that! I check my email constantly to see if I've heard anything (unless it is somewhere I know will take a long time to hear from). If I don't hear back within their response time, I email them to see what happened. Emails do get lost sometimes. And, if it is close to a response time, I check my email even more. Yes, I guess I'm a little OCD about it. *laughs* It still is nice you can do that, though.

LTM said...

for some I can do this, for others, I'm all nail biting... :D

Terry W. Ervin II said...

My wife wonders how I can submit and 'forget' but being able to do so makes the writing and submission process much easier.

It certainly would be harder if one couldn't forget and checked emails every hour or tackled the postal delivery person if they dared bypass your home.

I think experience in submitting helps--the more often you do it the easier it becomes. Also, having more than one project out on submission and working on another writing project keeps one's mind less focused on submissions and more busy focusing on other things.

Angie said...

Summer, yes. I am excited right at first too. Nicole, 400 days is a long time to wait! And I agree it's easier with short stories than the novel. Terry, you hit it right on the head. It saves my sanity, and I've developed this trait with long years of experience. Writing something new is the best antidote to waiting too! Thanks all for stopping by.

Lindsey Duncan said...

You have to reach a point where you backburner it or you will lose your mind, I think. ;-)

I keep a tracking list, and twice a month - the 15th and the 30th - I look to see if anything's been out too long and ping out queries if so. Having that routine makes it almost impossible for me to forget about an outstanding story.

Jan Markley said...

Were do you get one of those brain alarm clocks!? I tend to rely on lists of lists to keep track. Patience isn't my best font!

Brenda Susan said...

Yah, I have only recently started really submitting things. One was published long after I had forgotten I sent it in. (It was for free so didn't matter much) but now I am waiting on a submission that stated they would contact me in 2 weeks. It has now been 12 days. Yep I am counting!

Angie said...

That's a great method, Lindsey. Sounds very effective.

LOL, Jan. Lists are good too!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Angie, you are tough! Magazine submissions are more complicated and more frequent than novel submissions. I admire your tenacity.

Angie said...

Thanks, Rosslyn!

Jolene said...

Now, that is a super awesome superpower.
Selective near forgetfulness.

dellgirl said...

That's a great way to handle it, Angie. I'd like to think I'd put safely out of mind also. Nice post.

I just stopped in to say hello and to wish you a splendid Sunday.

Angie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dellgirl. Hope you have a great Sunday too!

Boy Mom said...

Good for you. If I ever got something written that I felt was good enough to submit and then if I actually submitted it. Yikes! I'd have to be medicated till I had a response.

I have learned to not check my blog comments ever 5 minutes though so there is hope...

I love the background pictures and colors of your blog, beautiful and symbolic.

Christina Lee said...

How great for you! I agree, it's like a super power or something
;--)

WindyA said...

I try to do this. It helps a lot if you have a bazillion other things going at the same time that sort of take over the real estate in your brain that lets you remember. Doesn't work all the time, but when it does, it sure is a nice break.

Angie said...

Thanks, Boy Mom. It has taken me years of submitting to get to this point. Thanks for coming by. And thanks Christina and Windy, too!

Elana Johnson said...

This is a great quality! The waiting is the hardest part of this crazy business, and if you can find a way around that, you're golden.

Danyelle said...

I need your super power, Angie. :p You are awesome!
*crosses fingers for you*

ali said...

LOVE this advice! I've always been really bad at this until very recently. I'm thinking it's a just a fluke right now, but I hope it sticks! I'd like to be more like you for sure!

Good luck Angie!

Medeia Sharif said...

That's great. I wish I was like that. I'm on the anxious side.

Mary Campbell said...

Love how relaxed you are. Are just submitting short stories or do you have a novel out?

Theresa Milstein said...

Sounds like you have a good strategy.

I'm nervous for about a week or two, getting those first rejections, and then I also forget about those few that are still out there.

Now I'm reworking my query and hope for less of those rejections.

RaShelle said...

Hi Angie - This is a quality I need to work on. I tend to worry until my face looks like I have the chicken pox. Good luck with your story.

Cynde L. Hammond said...

Hi. Angie!

I'm pretty new to this game so I've only made a couple of submissions and so far, all I could do was count the minutes--better make that seconds, until I heard back. And I was wishing the whole time for it all just to be over with, no matter what the outcome.

On this last one, toward the end of the deadline of when they told me I would definitely hear from them by, I was checking my emails about every half hour--I couldn't help myself. Then my computer broke down and I went crazy!

For some reason, I wandered out in our diningroom the other day and just happened to turn over an envelope that was in the junk-mail pile destined to be burned, and I was stunned to find a large white envelope addressed to me that I later found out had been there for about five days.

To shorten an already too long story, inside that envelope was news that I've been waiting to hear for a long time:

"I AM NOW AN OFFICIAL PUBLISHED AUTHOR. WOOHOO!"

A short story that I wrote entitled "The Rose" that was submitted for consideration has been accepted for publication in an emagazine called "UNIQUE/Arise 2010". I'll be posting a short blurb about it on my blog soon, but in October, after the art show/exhibit and press releases, I will do another, so that I can show pictures, etc. This is my first published story, after all. I just wanted you to be one of the first to know about it.

Cynde

Cynde's Got The Write Stuff