Nicole J Simms/ April 12, 2016/ Blog/ 0 comments

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Submitting Stories - How to Survive the Painful Waiting Game

The first thing I learned when I started my writing journey is that you need to be very patient. While it would be great to wait weeks rather than months to know if your story will be published or not, sadly, that’s not always the case.

So, how do you cope with waiting months to know whether you can do your celebration dance or go buy some Ben and Jerrys from the shop? Well, I have listed some tips that have helped me over the years.

Here’s how I try to survive the torture of waiting for a story submission reply:

  • Move on to another writing project – I actually work on multiple projects at the same time. While you are busy working, you won’t have time to dwell on whether your story has been accepted or tossed on to the rejection pile.
  • Choose another publisher to submit your story to, if your story is rejected – it’s good to have a back-up plan, and if you do get rejected instead of beating yourself up you’ll be able to send your story straight back out there again. Looking for a plan B also takes up some of that waiting time.
  • Remember that editors are people, not robots – it can be hard to remember that editors are human, just like us. And just like us, they need time to make their decisions. I can be very indecisive at times, so I know how tricky decision making can be.
  • Sometimes your story being held means that it’s being considered – it’s not always mentioned on the submission guidelines, but some publishers have rounds, so the longer your story has been held for, the more rounds you have passed. A quick response isn’t always the best.
  • Keep track of your submissions in a spreadsheet – while it’s good to submit and forget you should keep a record of your submissions, so you know where you’ve submitted your stories to and when. I like to colour code my spreadsheet, so I can quickly see what stage each story is at.

So that’s how I survive the waiting game. But the one thing that has helped me the most is learning to be patient. I’m currently waiting for answers on several stories, so fingers crossed I will eventually get my first yes for 2016.

Keep writing, folks!

My latest, Writing Times Magazine, article can be found at the link below.

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