Yesterday I submitted three essays to magazines. Last week, I submitted another to a contest.
It’s amazing how after all of this time the submitting part of the writer’s equation still feels so great. Even though cognitively I know that the odds are stacked against me and that the most likely result is dreaded rejection, submitting still gives me a tiny little high.
This stems from the pride of having put something together, polished it and wrangled it into submitting status; from the satisfaction of having searched for magazines/websites/anthologies who publish essays like the ones I write, read through their submission requirements and dutifully obeyed.
But the kicker is that at the point that I stick my words in the mailbox or hit the send key on an email, anything is possible. I have prepared and I have entered the race; that alone is enough to make me feel alive. The results are delightfully unknown; success seems as likely as failure. It is the thrill of this possibility that gives the high.
What if? What if the New York Times published my essay? How outstanding would that feel?
Yes, I know that there are 10,000 entries a week; it doesn’t matter, for this very moment, before the days start to tick by with no response, before the finality of a rejection shows up in my inbox, winning is still possible.
That possibility is hope and hope is the primary reason we keep doing anything at all.