September 15, 2014

The Moment in Writing

By M. Sakran

Click.  Waiting … waiting … wait?  Nothing.  Days pass.

Click.  Waiting … waiting … wait? Something’s there!  Is that one of them?  Yes it is!

Okay wait.  Be calm.  Take a second.  Breathe.  Okay – I’m going to open it.  Alright wait.

As a writer, you know this moment – the moment when you open your email and there is a response from a publisher to something you submitted.  It’s there.  It’s bold.  It has that look of an unopened email that just wants to be opened. 

But you’re scared aren’t you?  You want to open it.  You’ve waited for it.  You’ve check for it everyday.  But what if?  What if it’s bad news?  Another decline.  Another thank you but no.  You’ve gotten them before but you’re still nervous.  To send it out again.  To edit.  To start over.  Things would be so much better if it was accepted.

But you still can’t open it.  It’s like getting a test paper back in school and not looking at the grade.  Not knowing gives you hope.  Maybe you did pass?

You’re worried.  You wonder.  You realize that worrying doesn’t matter, that the result is already there – but you’re still worried.

So there it is.  Bold.  Unopened.  The answer.  The result.

Finally you click, and you brace yourself like getting ready to be punched in the face.  You almost squint your eyes as you try to read it without reading it.

As a writer, when you’re faced with this moment, you need to remember some things.  First, don’t worry.  As you know, worrying doesn’t matter, the result is already there.  You feeling bad isn’t going to affect the result, so don’t.  Second, take a moment.  This is important.  It’s an answer to something you’ve been waiting for.  But don’t wait too long.  Don’t take more than a moment.  Open the email.  You waiting isn’t going to turn it into an acceptance.  Third, no matter what the result, move on.  If it was declined, feel bad, maybe eat some ice cream, but move on.  Edit, try again, do something new.  If it was accepted, feel free to run around and shout (depending on the appropriateness of your surroundings).  Feel good.  Have some fun.  Make sure to follow up, and then move on.  Get to the next thing.  Do whatever else is next on your list.  Start your next project. 

So, as you’re faced with that moment, of having a result from a publisher, but not knowing what it is, take a moment - but then find out what it is.  After that, take another moment, and then move on.
M. Sakran has written a variety of items for websites and magazines. He is the author of First Try. His blog can be found at

No comments:

Post a Comment