For some time now, I’ve been keeping a running list of the various pieces/submissions that I’ve got ‘out there’ waiting for a resolution. Will a piece be accepted/longlisted/shortlisted/awarded or ignored/rejected/disqualified/binned? Well, there’s a kind of frisson in the waiting, and it’s rather fun to have more than one submission awaiting a decision.
In some cases, it’s a competition; I note when the reporting is likely to occur, so that I’m not on too many tenterhooks too early. In other cases, as in open submissions, or circulation around one or another writing groups, it’s a shorter wait for feedback. Feedback is lovely, but hard when one’s darlings are not universally applauded, of course. Receiving good honest critique, however, and acting upon it, is the only way to improve one’s writing ability.
I think I have seven outstanding submissions/entries just at the moment. That may be a personal record. There are: a couple memoir pieces; three short stories in competitions; two poems, of which one is in a stringent format; and another memoir effort ready to submit. Comments on a couple of these efforts are beginning to trickle in; every thoughtful reader is hugely appreciated!
Of the pieces that are unsuccessful (that is to say, unsuccessful in terms that I might aspire to) I often file them away as so much experience, after red highlighting and striking through that entry on the list. Then I try to keep looking forward. The submitted manuscripts awaiting resolution are where the anticipation comes in, and so I’m learning to keep that stock of work burgeoning.
In my list of submissions, I forgot to include the development work on my latest completed novel, which is slowly transmogrifying into something better with the kind assistance of yet another writers group. When it’s gone through the process, I shall probably replace the third volume of my sci-fi trilogy with the more polished content, and set it up again on the Amazon bookshelf. Self-publishing is one way to be happy that a milestone of completion has been reached.
And I look ahead to disciplined progress on my historical fiction novel, to which I shall settle down when we’re settled down ourselves. Of that effort, at least, I have received some professional feedback so that I have a good idea how to proceed.
The joy for me, this morning, is just the recapitulation of work that is ‘out there’ awaiting the due process of consideration by others. Well, that’s something, I think to myself, something that I’ve accomplished.
And then I turn around and think, what else can I do?
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