Time to Submit

Posted on 30/03/2012 by


Today is Friday. Which is taking me a little bit by surprise as for some reason I spent most of last night and yesterday evening convinced today was going to be the weekend. But this is good. It means I have one more day to avoid making final decisions about what I’m going to submit to people on Monday.

Monday is arbitrary deadline the ##th. We are cheerfully ignoring how many of these I’ve missed this year, as it’s embarrassing.

Normally I’m really good with deadlines. Neurotically so. And I’d like to blame epic power outages and computer explosions and the fact that I started the year on holiday. But that doesn’t explain three months of not getting to this point. You know what stops me hitting my own deadlines? Not wanting to.

Yes, I know that sounds weird. Why would I not want to? They’re my own deadlines. I made them up. I must have wanted to get there. And I do. Sort of. I mean, I definitely want to be published. But this isn’t that exactly. This is submitting to my top tier favourite publishers. The ones I dream about being published by.* And I’ve gotten into this headspace where submitting is applying to be rejected.

Portrait of Erwin Schrödinger

Schrödinger: Great hair, stylish glasses, BOW TIE. How could I not listen to this guy?

So I’m embracing Schrödinger’s theory. As long as I don’t actually submit to them, they still might say yes.

The whole thing is absurd. If they say no it’s not exactly the end of the world. I just move on to the next group of people I admire. But we are dealing with my subconscious, which is a wily thing and not that prone to listening to such things as logic or reason. Also it sneaks up and tries to get the more sensible parts of my mind on side by pointing out that I find my synopsis unsatisfying, that the publisher’s requirements are vague and confusing and perhaps I should consider all the angles even more carefully to ensure I’ve covered my bases properly. It suggests that I should recheck that the formatting matches their stated preferences. That I should do more research into those things that are unstated, to somehow weasel out a feeling for what their preferences might be. That maybe I could — 

Hell, it really is like dating. If I was eleven. And ever actually cared this much about impressing a potential honey. Must stop short of writing terrible angsty love poems to publishers. Pretty sure that’s poor form. Also, you know, I’m out of time.


* Okay, not actually dream. I dream about much more surreal things. Or, you know, last night about hiking. Which was a bit odd, I have to say. The closest I’ve come to actually dreaming about being published was when I dreamed a friend of mine became an editor at a major publishing company. Which would be a bit of abstract career change, I have to say.