Because of a computer glitch at work, I found myself with some extra time this afternoon. With overtime and deadlines at work, having some "extra time" was a well-appreciated gift. I used that time to finish up my latest short story, and tonight, I sent it off to the publisher.
In a year since I submitted my first short story to any publisher, I've learned a lot, and I've been extremely blessed. With my first story, I hit a home run on my first at bat. And when I stepped to the plate again, I hit another one out of the park (I'm saying I did great, not necessarily because of the stories, but because they were chosen and included in amazing anthologies...).
So, what does someone who's two-for-two and batting 1000 do for an encore? Well, I wrote another short story and sent if off. The problem was, I got a little lazy. I always knew there was a chance any of my stories could be rejected, but when the first two were chosen, the thought that my story would not be chosen seemed less and less likely. I knew the story and problems, but I liked it and thought it could be improved in the editing process.
I had been working extra hours and I really wasn't writing, but I thought it would be okay.
My story wasn't chosen and that was the best thing that could have happened.
This month I had a chance to redeem myself. The deadline for the next anthology is tomorrow night. I knew I had to do better this time and I believe I have. I approached this project with the attitude that I had to earn the right to have my story in the book's pages. I'm not good enough (and I hope I'm never good enough...) to just "phone it in."
This one may get rejected, and if it does, it means others did put in the time to make their stories the best they could be. It means a stronger product. Even if my story's not chosen, this month I've been putting in the time, working at night and on weekends to meet the deadline and deliver a story that they like and hopefully others will too.
It's in and now the waiting begins. I feel much better than I did the last time I submitted something, even though I'm less confident. How's that for a contradiction?