When I finished school, I felt so relieved. I wrote my last test and thought There. I don’t ever have to do this again. No more waiting nervously for results, to see if I passed or failed. Then I got through my first job interview in my day-job field and thought Okay, for real, NOW I’m done.
Joke was on me, though.
I just submitted another story for potential publication. One that I really like; frankly I think it’s pretty well written. I think it’s interesting. But every submission is like another job interview. You make sure you’ve dressed the part (editing) and sit there nervously waiting to be called in (awaiting acknowledgement). There’s an awkward dance where you hope you’ve answered all their questions correctly (hope you have a story they like), then you gather your things, leave, and sit at home by the phone waiting for someone to get back to you. It’s all on them at this point. You’ve done your bit. And if they decide they didn’t like your hair, or your shoes, or whatever, you’re done. Or maybe you legitimately sucked, and it’s not a job you should have even applied for. You won’t know anything until you hear back.
I’m a pretty anxious person. The funniest bit about me pursuing a writing career is that I’ve effectively signed on for hundreds, if not thousands of little job interviews. Forever.
And though I’m already moving on to other stories, other projects, I have to admit it’s still lurking at the back of my mind. (Okay, the front, where it blazes its name in flashing lights, but whatever.)
There’s the hope that it’s as good as I think it is. The hope that “they” will have enjoyed it. Of course, there’s also the hope that they liked it so much they can’t fathom their next anthology without it and they’re going to halt publication altogether until I sign on (though that last bit might be a bit of a stretch).
So if you need me, I’ll be over here writing, jumping every time my email notification sounds. Is there a drinking game for spam email?