I got two pieces of good news recently. First, I’m a semi-finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s annual Genesis Contest in the Contemporary Romance category. Second, a magazine editor that I sent a short story to emailed me to say she “loved my story”, but she said she has a backlog of fiction. She asked permission to hang on to my story for a while. I’m not stupid, so I said yes.
Despite these bits of good news, things are still in limbo. I’m waiting. Will my contest entry make it to the finals? I won’t know until the end of May. Will the magazine editor decide to publish my short story? I don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see.
I’m tempted to hope and dream and pray about what I wish will happen—and I do—but not during every waking hour. I can’t spend that much energy on it and still be productive. I have to keep working on and submitting new ideas because I love having possibilities out there. Knowing that any day I could get a phone call or an email with good news. So yesterday, I submitted a short story to another magazine and I finished a second story to send to the editor who loved the first story I sent her. I’ll submit it next week. Then I’ll have even more possibilities out there. Meanwhile, my agent is trying to sell my first novel which is another possibility out there.
It’s hard to wait. I don’t like it. But I have found that the more possibilities I have headed toward an editor’s desk, the easier it is to wait because all my hope isn’t wrapped up in one project. One rejection won’t cause my world to crumble because I have other possibilities out there. My hope remains alive and it’s easier to shrug off one failed attempt because the optimist in me keeps waiting for the good news I know is coming sooner or later.
So I stay busy finishing a new book, writing a new story, submitting my work, because every now and then, instead of a rejection, I get a letter or email that says, “Congratulations!” And that is so worth the wait.
The one who stays on the job has food on the table; the witless chase whims and fancies.
Proverbs 12:11 The Message
What are you waiting for?