Writers are the worst people for waiting. At least this writer is. And the cruelty of this business is that it is all about waiting. Waiting for critiques, waiting for responses on queries, waiting for news on partials or fulls, waiting for results of submissions, waiting for publication, reviews, and on and on.
So we have all the time in the world to think things like...
"OK, it's been 56 hours since I clicked the Send button on my submission. I haven't heard anything back yet. That must mean if got lost in cyberspace." or "No news is good news." followed by "No news is bad news."
It should just be waiting. But it isn't. It is dedicated time for our fertile imaginations to go into overdrive.
Two days ago, I sent my latest serial to the magazine editor for approval. And now I have what I call Refresh Syndrome (the main symptom is uncontrollable clicking of the Refresh button on my inbox). I haven't heard back yet.
Key frantic imaginings, which go along the lines of "I haven't heard back yet because the fiction editor must have liked it enough to send it to the editor in chief, who is now reading it. That's a good sign." Which is immediately followed by "I haven't heard back yet because there is something in it she doesn't like and is writing the revision letter." Logic -- meaning the voice that says "It's only been two days and they have other things to do. Relax."-- has no place here.
My husband is a scientist. Scientists have to wait, too. But they don't stand over an experiment muttering to themselves and thinking up multiple scenarios about what is going on, all while knowing that it will be days before they can expect some kind of meaningful results. No, they just make notes and get on with another project.
Waiting requires us to be detached, cool, logical. These are not things a writer is known for. At least not this writer. Yet one more of the bitter ironies of the writer's world.