Publishing is like racing snails.
An author writes as much as she can as fast as she can as best as she can. She works hard every day, striving to produce quality work in quantity, and she waits a loooooong time to see the results of her effort. It’s racing snails.
The slow pace of publishing can be discouraging. Writing takes time and writing well takes even more time. When you’ve been patient with yourself and your process and finally have a snail ready for the racetrack, you release him, you cheer, and then you wait. You wait to get a response after a submission, you wait for accepted work to appear in print or online, and then you wait to see the response of the readers. It’s racing snails.
It’s hard to wait, but when you see your snail cross the finish line, all the effort and slime trails are worth it.
Here’s a recent example. Two years ago I submitted an article to a magazine. My snail was on the track. For a year and a half I heard nothing. Not a peep, not even a rejection letter. I thought my snail had left the track. But after one and a half years, I received an email from the editor. She had stumbled upon my submission as she cleaned out her inbox and she wanted to publish the article, can I please send photos. My snail was not dead after all! He had quietly sprinted across the finish line while I looked the other way.
Racing snails is not for the feint hearted; it’s a long term game. But victory is extra sweet when you’ve waited for it. Don’t give up. While you wait for one snail to finish his race, train another snail and place it on the track. Keep racing, keep writing, keep trying, and when your snail wins, savor your victory. Slimy victory is still sweet.
Images courtesy of: imgflip.com (snail cartoon), depositphotos.com halina_photo (racing snails)