I get jumpy after I’ve submitted things. Between the hours of 9am and 5pm, I check my email at least every half hour, just to make sure an editor hasn’t replied to my submission. I’m not waiting for an acceptance letter – I mean, it’d be nice. But I’m just waiting for contact, of any sort. Rejection? That’s okay. At least I can push forward after a rejection.
Weekends are the worst. I was silly enough to submit a piece I had particularly high hopes for the weekend of Queen’s Birthday… So I submitted on the Friday and subjected myself to waiting through Saturday and Sunday, and Monday too. The worst bit? Somehow, the writer’s brain convinces them that editors might take time out from sunning themselves in the park or playing soccer with their kids, in order to work. So weekends become frought too – I fight against the reasonable part of myself and check my email much too often anyway.
This morning I received some contact from the Australian Poetry Journal, where I’d submitted two poems for consideration… My heart jumped, I clicked on the email and discovered it was a notice to let me know they’d received my submission. The sad thing is that this happens so seldom (most of my submissions are met with the internet equivalent of a blank stare) that I was actually a little disappointed.
All of this, however, I can deal with. It’s a necessary part of the process – and it’s all made worthwhile by those rare acceptance letters, those moments when your heart leaps out of your chest because you’ve managed to make a dream come true…
My dream? Getting published in The Big Issue. Coming true? Most certainly. On the 19th of July, the new edition of The Big Issue is being released with my story, “My Brother the Chef” in it. I had to wait for that letter for a few weeks, including that torturous long weekend. I checked my email compulsively. But eventually it happened, and that made all the waiting worth it.