Ah, the beautiful agony of pausing right before you hit the final confirmation button to send your fictional piece to a literary magazine.
It’s not as if this is my first time sweating it out over the submission forms; last season I submit a short story for the same magazine I’m contemplating over now. The difference was that last time I wrote, edit and submit a story 2 hours before the deadline. Part of me thought this was going to be pulled off brilliantly – maybe talent lies in the mad rush? – but most of me knew better. This knowing better part was of course correct, and the story was rejected.
That rejection didn’t hurt too badly, I was actually glad that they didn’t choose the story because the next morning I woke up and realised that I just sent proper editors a really dodgy, unoriginal, slapped together piece that probably had spelling and grammar mistakes due to the mad hurry to get it done. Embarrassing, really, that I even sent it in. But deadlines can make you do things like that.
This time however, I have worked on a story that I originally wrote last year, but that fits this issue’s theme. I re-wrote it, edited it and then rubbed a four leaf clover over my screen. This time if rejection comes it won’t be as easy to pass over and accept because this is a story I have worked harder on, spent time with, edited to (what I think is) almost perfection (since true perfection in fiction doesn’t exist unless you’re Kafka) and really enjoyed writing it.
Regardless of the story’s origin, this one means a bit more to me than the last disaster. Pausing over the submission button isn’t as much a pause as a 48 hour delay. Should I submit and gamble? Or not even try? Well, I know the answer to that. If I really believe in it, I may as well give it a chance, after all this is a blog about becoming the best writer I can be, and hopefully getting published, what kind of start would this be if I didn’t begin with seizing a chance?