Monday, September 17, 2012

Move On!

The quote above is definitely a keeper . It works for our writing world but it fits any other person's world just as well. 

Nearly everyone has a bit of guilt now and then. Some torture themselves with it. Why didn't I revise the story before sending it to the editor? Why didn't I take time to answer that editor's question? Why didn't I make better use of my free time? Why did I hurry through an assignment? We ask ourselves questions like these and the answers really don't matter a whole lot because whatever happened is over. It's gone like a leaf on a gust of wind, never to be seen again. 

As for the second part, we have no control over the future so why waste perfectly good time worrying about it? That's not to say we should throw caution to the wind and let just anything happen. We do need to consider the best course to follow for whatever looms in our future. We set goals and aim to achieve them, but it's fruitless to worry about reaching your goal. Work hard and it's more than likely going to happen. 

Let's take a couple examples of each one of the admonitions in the quote. 

1. Guilt:  Picture a writer who receives a note from an editor saying she likes parts of the article submitted but she cannot publish it until some changes are made. She suggests changes and invites you to resubmit. It's an encouraging rejection, but maybe it came at a time when your life is filled with must-do things, a trip coming up or when there is a serious illness, or even a death, in the family. Somehow, you set the revision job aside meaning to go back to it. Then you forget it for several weeks or even months. By the time you notice again. it's too late. There's no way you can submit a revision long after the invitation. And so, Mr. Guilt settles in for a visit. He jabs you off and on all day. Ignore him and concentrate on other things. You didn't get the job done, but so what? There will be other opportunities. Move on!

2.  Worry:  How about a writer who wants to be published in a certain anthology? She's tried and tried and never made it. But now, she has a story that is absolutely perfect for the newest title in the series. She submits the story and in the back of her mind, she worries that this one might not make it either. She worries to the point of being distracted from her other writing. She frets over this uncontrollable situation until she becomes physically ill. Once you submit your writing to a publication, your job is finished. There is no way to look into a crystal ball and foresee the future. Will the story make it into the book or will it be trashed like the others had been? Whichever way it goes, it's out of your hands. Move on!


  1. Reminds me of a colleague who submitted a query by e-mail. Got in return a scolding, almost abusive reply from the magazine about how they never accepted anything by e-mail, you are incredibly stupid for even trying, and don't ever bother us again. She felt quite crushed. Six months later she received an e-mail from another person who had been looking at earlier e-mails the magazine had received, who said they would be very interested in her proposed article. She finished writing the article, and it was published. I guess it pays to be persevering.

  2. I guess we need to remember that editors are individuals, too. They all react differently and all assess a submission in a different way, as well. Sounds like that first editor should be named "Grumpy"