Approximately 98.27% of the non-writing side of publishing is waiting. Just waiting. Interspersed, of course, with oh-crap-another-rejection, or holy-crackerjacks-an-acceptance!

Depending on how many stories you have out, the rate of either of those things can be anything from multiple times a day to once a month (or longer). If you’re me, and you write long short stories, and you haven’t written any new ones in a few months because you’ve been working on a novel and haven’t had much time, then…well, it’s slow.

Five stories out at the moment. The oldest submission just rounded the six month mark, the newest is closing on one month. It’s a little like hanging out by a campfire in the dark. Everyone said they’d be back soon, but it’s starting to feel like maybe they…forgot? Maybe they decided not to come back? Or maybe they’re just out of sight in the dark, taking notes on how you react as part of their paper on paranoia-inducing activities.

More than that, it’s just a touch boring. I’ve no real problem with waiting, as long as I know the story, or the response, wasn’t eaten by the email goblins. Which is why I love the little updates some markets send out. It’s great to hear something has cleared the slushpile, or is waiting on an editorial meeting, even if it comes with an “expect another four months wait” rider. It’s just the sound of a voice in the dark saying “Hey, we’re still coming, keep the campfire burning.”