Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Long Wait

In January of this year, I sent a story to a small Canadian magazine that has published several articles and stories of mine in the past.  "The Long Night" was published earlier in an American ezine. It's fiction but based on the things I learned from my mother about her father's many years working in Iowa coal mines. It seemed like a good fit for this particular magazine.

I never heard from the editor of the Canadian publication so I figured he didn't want to use the story. Today, I received a message from him telling me he was looking forward to reading the story, and then a little apology for the delay. My story sat in his computer files for over 3 months, unread. It seems my story, "The Long Night" turned into The Long Wait (for me.)

And this is why I say over and over again that writers need to learn patience because there is no doubt that a writer needs that characteristic to survive in this writing world. If you don't have it when you start writing, work on it.

I'shouldn't be the one to give this kind of advice, because I have always been one of the most impatient people to walk the face of the earth. The writing world, however, has done much to force me to learn patience. Five years ago, the delay of the editor having even looked at the story would have driven me right up the wall, but even though I felt a bit irked when I got his message today, I took it more calmly than I once would have. It doesn't mean I like it to happen this way, but it doesn't upset me now like it once might have.

One more thought on waiting to hear from an editor--if it's been several weeks or a few months since you submitted your work, it's permissible to send the editor a short note inquiring as to the status of your submission. Sometimes, they need a littld nudge, and you need to know what's happening.

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