Instead, I’ll tell you what’s on the docket for me today. I’m going to lose my submission virginity.
I know how that sounds, but get your head out of the gutter. What I mean is, today is the day I’m going to submit my first story to a publisher for consideration. My first reader, my beloved wife, really enjoyed the story. I got some ace feedback from friend and pro editor Sherri, and I should be getting a little more feedback on it today. Once I make the necessary adjustments, I’ll be all set to re-format the document to meet the standards of the place I’m submitting to (which is The Absent Willow Review, if you’re curious), and then … *gulp!* Fire it off, and let the pins and needles begin.
On a few fronts, this is monumental for me.
It’s a big step.
Last time I speculated about the legitimacy of the AWR, and I got a very nice email from one of the editors, Bob Griffin. He kindly defended the eZine, and told me to feel free to submit – they’d be looking forward to receiving it. (I can’t vouch for the truth of that; he hasn’t read any of my writing yet.) I decided then, what the heck? The worst thing they can say is no, and there are other online and print publications to submit to if they don’t want it. Nevertheless, it’s moving forward, which is something I haven’t done yet with my writing, and it’s a nerve-wracking thought. Now, I’m going to be judged by people who don’t care about me, my feelings, and my writing. Yikes!
I’m going to be subject to my first professional rejection.
This is a big step – it’s like the initial jump out of the airplane in skydiving. Only … you know, without the potential death at the end of it all. At least, I don’t think there’s the potential for death at the end of it. Could be receiving a rejection will hit harder than I think (even though I think I’m prepared to receive one), and I’ll tail spin out of control in dark depression and angst, never putting fingers to keyboard again. I didn’t handle my first honest critique too well, but I did get over it and start writing and editing again.
Is it a good story?
I’ve gotten really good feedback on this one. (No, it’s not on my fiction site, because some places consider that published for some reason. I didn’t want to gamble with it.) Sherri did a phenomenal job making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and giving me the confidence to go through with this. She’s even checked out AWR for me. Thanks, sweetie. You’re a true friend. Whether it’s good or not, I’ll find out what AWR editors think of me soon enough (two to four weeks, I believe it says on their site). The other stuff I’ve read there is good. It’s not like I’m submitting against sub-par writers to bolster myself. I guess I could do that, but I really need to find out how I hold up professionally against other folks writing similar material.
This could inspire more submissions.
I don’t know how this will feel, what it will be like, but I have some other stories I could submit to other places with minimal clean-up. Well … maybe not minimal, but not a lot of work would go into it. If it goes well and doesn’t cause too much anxiety and sleep loss, maybe I’ll submit some of my novellas for consideration at other publications. I think I have a few which would fit nicely with a smaller press Sherri (there’s that name again) pointed out to me a few months ago.
So, that’s it. I’m going to go for it. Why not? Again, the worst they can say is no, and if they do I probably won’t die.
But … what if – just what if – they say “yes”?