A couple of years ago, I wrote a short story I was proud of.
Last year, I went back and refined it a bit.
This year, I finally submitted it for publication. It took me an immensely long time to get past the mountains of resistance that stood in the way. It was months of paying for a submission tracking service, and more months of occasionally researching potential publications, and then another month or two to finally prepare the story for submission. To format it the right way and to write the tiny cover letter to go along with the submission.
I should say — all those months were months of NOT taking action. Of letting that small series of to-do items sit on my to-do list, one at a time, and telling myself day after day after day that I would finally do the next thing, and then putting it off. Day after day after day….
You’ve read the title of this post, so you know how this ends.
I chose the publication I chose in large part because of their fast response time. I knew that I’d know, within a couple of weeks, whether my story had been accepted or not.
When the rejection email came, my disappointment was almost academic. Of course I wish it had been accepted, but I had changed the metric of success dramatically by that point. By even submitting it in the first place, I had achieved something it had taken me, literally, years to get around to doing.
My next goal is to submit it again in less than a month from the time I got that rejection. And then, assuming I get another rejection, to submit again within the week. Meanwhile, of course, I’ll need to put together another story to submit, but hey! One thing at a time.
This is my way of practicing a higher law — to center my sense of achievement in things over which I have control. All I can do is submit. Beyond that, it’s out of my hands. So, if I submit, I’m successful. I’ve spent a lot of time being unsuccessful. It feels good to finally get the win. I’m looking forward to getting another one.