You’ve submitted some writing to an agent or publisher. Now you wait. When will they respond? How many other pieces are they reading? How long will it take for them to decide your story’s fate, one way or another? At least a month. Breathe. Remember, at least a month.

Having the luxury of emailing submissions is an amazing thing. The savings in cost and resources (and effort)! But you’ll also get an email response. That can come with all kinds of neuroses, particularly in the “obsessive checking of said email” flavour.

If your email provider has a live update feature, you can leave the screen open and just wait. Watching. You will try and do other things, productive things, and that screen will hover in the background. Your eyes will stray toward it, checking for the little number which indicates an unread message.

Since I have a number of email addresses associated with different projects and for business, I have notices of new mail forwarded to a single account, simply so I don’t have to sign into several different emails just to check for messages. In this instance, the service is the opposite of helpful. I get a pretty steady flow of email; newsletters, advertisements from suppliers, letters from friends, orders and invoices, etc. Just imagine what it’s like, pointlessly waiting for one specific email, and having the tab displaying (1), one new message – cue Count von Count laughter, Ah-ha-ha.

So I might be a bit jumpy anytime I’ve just sent off a submission. Chances are, by the time they actually respond, I will be over the obsessive email checking stage. Or worse, I’ll have submitted more writing and be awaiting multiple replies.

Oh, look! Another message. Be calm. It hasn’t been a month.



14 thoughts on “Jumpy

  1. I’m in exactly the same boat with the 7 pieces I’ve sent in, this January just gone! I’m doing quite well, myself. I’m only checking my email twice a day. Once in the morning when I get up, and once before bed. Any more than that, and I’d be driven to insanity. Here’s hoping we both get some lovely positive responses in the near future! Good luck, beautiful!

    1. Oh, you ARE good. Like I said, I kind of just leave mine open most of the day and glance at it, which wasn’t a problem until I was waiting to hear back about writing submissions. 😉 Thank you, and good luck to you as well! 😀


  2. You know the only cure for said disorder? Submitting more. Lots and lots and LOTS more. So many that you can’t keep count unless you have an ongoing submissions chart. Once you do this for long enough, continuing to send things back out when you get a rejection and adding new projects, the nerves wear down. Then you’ll forget about at least some of them, most of the time. 😉 Good luck, Ashlee! Here’s hoping whoever it is doesn’t make you wait the whole month.

    1. Oh no, that sounds like something which would make me even more obsessive, I think. Scanning the submission list, having a second list with the expected order of reply, and then there would be so many more emails coming in! Haha! And thank you, I hope so, too!


  3. Keeping busy definitely helps, but I’ve always found it’s helpful to plan a vacation right after a big submission. The planning and actual getting-away are a wonderful distraction from the obsession.

  4. I’ve just started a round of submissions, so recently that I’m not really neurotic yet. But I have a feeling that as the response deadlines come around I’ll become a wreck. I’ve also noticed that shorter response deadlines are far more nerve-wracking than the long ones. Weeks, and I’m able to push off the worrying. But days? Eep!

    P.S. Found your blog through Annie Neugebauer’s, and I’ll definitely be back. 🙂

    1. I can imagine! I haven’t tried a submission with only days response time; that must be super jittery. XD Good luck with all your submissions, and welcome! A friend of Annie’s is a friend of mine!


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