Do you ever feel like Charlie Brown? The hope of finding a letter for me in the mailbox prompts me each day to don my boots and coat and mittens and scarf and tromp down the driveway. The whole way I'm hopinghoping that one of my SASE has returned. A check would be nice, but I'd even welcome a rejection letter.
Isn't that why I enclosed that extra envelope, stamped, and neatly printed with my name and address? Isn't it supposed to return someday?
My heartbeat quickens as I pull out the stack of mail. Even before I leave the side of the road, I quickly scan through the pack looking for one with my name on it.
Electric billa bank statementadsa missionary prayer lettera catalogmore adsa political ad... a store flyernothing for me.
I sigh and slowly trudge home, arguing with my doubts.
Maybe they don't like it.
But, then they would have sent it back.
Maybe they can tell I'm new at this and didn't bother looking at it.
You followed the submission guidelines.
Maybe there wasn't enough postage.
You know you put enough on.
Maybe it got lost; maybe somebody stole it!
Stop it! You're being ridiculous!
I'm just tired of sending my writing out and never hearing any results. Why don't they answer? This waiting is frustrating!
Something more frustrating than watching the mailbox is waiting for an email response. The mixture of dread and anticipation is even worse! The guidelines say that the editor doesn't want a SASE; he wants to do business over the internet. "If you haven't heard anything after four weeks, then you can assume it has been rejected." That creates a whole new set of doubts!
Did he get it?
You got a confirmation.
Maybe he was too busy over the holidays to look at it.
It's been long enough.
The feeling reminds me of when my cat didn't come home. I called and watched and waited and waited. I didn't want to accept the fact that my cat wasn't coming back.
Maybe she's hurt... Maybe someone else took her... Maybe she got lost...
This has got to stop! I need to stop doubting myself and watching the mailbox. I need to look forward; I need to keep writing and sending my stories out, not asking "What if?"
It will happen someday probably when I least expect it.