The Depression of Submission
The good news is that Abraham Road is in great shape. I am the worst judge of my own work, but early reader reaction suggests this short little book could be one of the coolest stories I’ve written.
I know I like it a lot. I’ve had some ups and downs with it over the last few months, but right now I’m pleased every time I go back to it.
The bad news is that I’ve decided to try and actually see what would happen if I submitted this story a few places. I’d love it if I could place it somewhere an editor might give it a look and fix it up. I’m sure there are ways it could be improved that I’m not seeing. No doubt, a writer is always too close to the work to see it best.
I have three places in mind (the market being rather limited for a piece which right now clocks in at 24,400 words). Combined rejection time for all of them: probably roughly four months.
And here I was, hovering over the ‘save and publish’ button on Amazon.com this past Sunday night. I talked myself out of it, and it was a good decision (found some typos in the morning! yeah!), but it hurts me and really tests the limits of my patience to have a real winner of a story ready to go that I can’t let anyone see.
Thinking about the long four months ahead of gathering enough rejection letters to justify self-publishing again … just makes me sad. It’s why I gave up submitting pieces to begin with — I don’t like having to wait for someone to tell me they don’t like what I wrote. Disappointment shouldn’t be so boring and time-consuming.
That’s why I love McSweeney’s and The Atlantic so much: one week response time! Got another rejection from McSweeney’s this week, in fact. Always makes my day.
Anyway, I believe this choice is the right one.
We’ll see if I can actually go through with it, though, or if I spaz out halfway through October and hit that damnable publish button.