353. The Waiting Game

Almost a month since I sent off my 6 story submissions, 2 of them have been sent back to me, rejected. Again, my name will not be among the roster of writers for the Short+Sweet Festival (Kuala Lumpur) and the KL Noir series. I’m a little more broken up over the latter, knowing that this coming edition will be the last in the series.

But life goes on. 2 out of 6, 4 to go. 4 to go…

If I could push a button and know immediately if my submissions are going to be accepted or not, I would. Even at the risk of the collective heartbreak killing me (or sending me into a week-long depression). If anything, the waiting is more unbearable than the actual news. It’s like what the eminent Mr. Hitchcock said, concerning guns in movies:

There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.

And I wish all these editors will just pull the trigger and have it done with. I can then lapse into my week-long depression, then come out at the end of it to resume living my life. Instead of checking my inbox day after day, waiting for the news that might or might not come.

Luckily, there are a number of things holding my attention while I wait for the results: 3 more submissions due early to mid-August, work in general, and books to read. But that’s like trying to do your revision while the TV is on: it works for, like, 3 seconds, and then you’re anxiously watching the TV waiting to see what happens next.

(if I could, I would crown myself the king of analogies. Just earlier this evening, I likened a conversation crasher to an automobile accident at a cross junction. In retrospect, it was incredibly rude; but it was also incredibly entertaining)

I’m sure the editors are busy with their lives and other works that they have committed themselves to. They are, after all, human (I think), and are subject to all the necessities a human might need. They have other stories to write, lectures and workshops to conduct, interviews to attend, a family to spend time with, shows to watch…

If I were an editor, I think I’d just email all my contributors saying, “Thanks for your submission! Please consider your work rejected unless you’re informed otherwise. Happy carrying on with your lives!”

God knows it would save a lot of people a lot of suspense and subsequent agony.

But this is the way the world works. When you go out on a date and hit it off, you wait 3 days before calling your date again. When someone comes to you with a delicious project proposal, you tell them that you need a few days to think about it. When you interview someone looking for a job with your company, you thank them for their time and assure them that you will get back to them “soon”.

(just for the record: Jesus said that He is coming back “soon” too)

And editors, after receiving your stories, will take anywhere between 2 weeks and 6 months to get back to you.

God, I wish they would just get it over with. And quickly.


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