I’ve just clicked “send” on an email to a Canadian magazine that prints all sorts of (quite good) artsy-fartsy stuff like poetry and paintings and short stories. Attached to my email was a Word document containing a brief bio and two of my very own shorts. Afterward I sat back and experienced a sensation I know all too well from when I started querying magazines for nonfiction pieces. It’s a sort of pull on my emotions in three distinct directions: relief, overt anxiety, and the nagging sense that I’ve no business sitting back in the first place, and I need to just get over it and get onto the next thing.
The annoying bit is that the nagging is more spot on than any of it. In all likelihood, they will read my stories and think, “Oh, that’s nice,” just as they toss them into the recycling (assuming they felt them worthy of printing off in the first place, and they have a decent sense of responsibility to our planet). That’s the truth, the fact that it equates to tiny little daggers poking into every square millimeter of my ego notwithstanding. And so, gentle reader, wonderful reader, reader who reads me so regularly I could kiss you but you all live way too far away for that, what’s a girl to do? Try to find balance, that’s what. Again.