C. A. Casey

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Waiting

Posted by Casey on May 31, 2007

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Writers spend a lot of time waiting. They wait for verdicts on stories from magazines, agents, and publishers. They wait for their work to be published. Ideally, they spend this time writing more stuff, but the mind is a funny thing. Writers need re-enforcement sometimes.

An acceptance is an affirmation that “yes, maybe I can really do this writing thing” and you want to finish one of those half-written bits of prose gathering cyber dust on the harddrive. Even a non-acceptance with a positive personal note can stimulate the creative juices. A rejection is equal to a challenge, so that gets me going too.

But waiting . . . well, waiting just gets tiresome.

I have four stories out right now. One has gone to the next round of reading, the other three, who knows. One is at a new market that pays well, so it’s the most iffy for acceptance. Another is at a literary magazine. I’ve never tried literary before, so I don’t know what to expect. One is being held to see if it fits a future issue. This one I can sub to another market according to the publication holding it. Frankly, it’s my favorite story but it’s way too weird for most markets and it’s been in the slush of four magazines already, so I’ll take my chance on this magazine.

Number of days I’ve been waiting for a verdict?

The story in the next round – 80 days
The one to the better paying market – 50 days
The one to the literary market – 124 days
The one that’s being held – 212 days

Non-writers out there are probably thinking that’s way too long to wait, but actually these numbers are the norm.

Why does it take so long? It depends on how many submissions a publication receives, how many spots they have to fill in an issue and how many issues they’re filling at a time, how much time they have to look at submissions. Some have reading periods, some have reading parties.

So I wait . . . maybe I’ll work on one of those half-finished stories.

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