It’s a step and it feels like one, when launching a story into the maw of potential publishers. It used to be an actual trip to the post office. Now, not so much. What it entails is a dash to a deadline, other times a carefully considered effort to fit a piece to the journal where you think a story can find a home and an appreciative audience. Of course, the sending and the waiting are streamlined. That can reduce the pain, but instead of waiting for a letter, I’m waiting for a Submittable notification or an email.
Perhaps, the bigger decision is to know when to withdraw a submission. It could be after six months, or eight, of waiting, of inquiring and no response. Then, once the decision is made, it doesn’t take much, a click here, or an email there and it’s done. It’s almost clinical or surgical, except for the doubt and stress.
But where there is the slightest wiggle room of a chance, I leave the story where it is, between one submission and the next. All the while editing.
For my upcoming submission I need to make a story free range once more. In the meantime, it’s getting a fresh going over before being bundled out the digital doorway again.
Meanwhile, the non responding journal or publisher joins my list of story no fly zones.