I submitted. I closed my eyes, forgot about consequences and just did it. Now I’m in a panic because I fear the inevitable rejection that everyone says is part of the process. Or worse than rejection – indifference.
What I want to know is why is it called submission? When I sent off my first story for consideration to a magazine editor this week, I gave my heart. I opened an emotional artery. I held my breath and I submitted serious thoughts on a serious subject to a stranger. I could have kept these thoughts to myself, left well enough alone but I decided to put myself out there and now it’s done and I’m exposed and afraid.
It’s a perilous game with only two outcomes – success or failure. While I wait, I self-flagellate. I commit psychological harakiri. I am nauseated. I administer regular mental floggings. Sweat soaked sheets and tear filled pillowcases need frequent changing. That’s what submission does.
It should be called consideration.
Here is my story for your consideration.
I’d like you to consider my words.
I appreciate your consideration.
I know you will show consideration for my work.
Thank you for allowing me to consider your work.
I have given your essay considerable thought.
Your work deserves careful consideration.
In consideration of your skillful efforts I am pleased to accept your fine work.
See? Now that’s a balanced relationship. Look at the thoughtful editor, sitting at her desk, surrounded by stacks of manuscripts; a cup full of red pens, one tucked behind her ear, glasses perched on her head, gazing out the window into the New York skyline as she meditates on the merits of the essay she has just read. She’s evaluating. She’s reflecting. She is considering and she is not asking anyone to submit. Because she cares. She will reply, reject with respect, and move to the next piece of work for her consideration.
Yes. Well. Why not?
In the meantime, I await the outcome, handcuffed and bound by a process that renders me submissive, hoping for some attention from the Master. It’s a sick business and I’m just one of the many willing victims eager to submit.
Please. I beg you – tell me your submission stories – the worse, the better.