The Electronic Age, Disappointment at the Speed of Light

I remember when I could send a short story submission to a market and wait three or more months for a reply.  Sure, I agonized for all that time, but some little part of me enjoyed pretending that it took so long because they were actually going to accept my work (and a couple of times it has actually worked out that way).

Now, more and more publishers and agents have started moving to electronic submissions.  How great is that!  It is environmentally sound, it saves them money, it saves you money, and it saves everyone time.  Only... well, I do sometimes miss having enough time to pretend they might actually publish me.  The turnaround on some of these electronic submissions can be a matter of days rather than months.  Ouch!  Barely enough time to get your hopes up before your ego is already recovering from the blow.

Then again, I shouldn't make it sound so bad.  Within that instant disappointment comes a gift, the opportunity to get your work out to more people faster without risking stepping on anyone’s toes by sending out simultaneous submissions.  If someone rejects you today, you can have it in another publisher or agents hands by this afternoon (or tomorrow, because you always take another fresh look at what you are sending before you send it out again - it is never too late to catch that glaring typo you somehow missed the first fifteen times or rewrite that one line that was a little too weak).

Last week I received two rejections and sent out three submissions.   If you look at collecting rejection letters as nothing more than proof that you are trying, this isn't such a bad change.  Maybe, going forward, I'll see if I can't make last week look like a slow one.  The future is all about opportunity.  Take it and run with it.