I submitted a thing for publication a week or so ago. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last, though I’m still in the single digits for submissions. I’m guessing that I haven’t been chosen based on the lack of response and the number of days that have elapsed since the editorial committee met. I was hopeful and excited about the possibility of being chosen and I’m proud of the piece I submitted.
What’s interesting to me is how disappointed I am that I appear to not have been selected. As if I assumed that I would be.
It occurred to me that this is because a writer needs to have a certain degree of confidence to submit their work for publication. After all, if I didn’t think it was good, I wouldn’t have been willing to put it out there for strangers to read. That confidence is what allows me to keep track of various submission deadlines, re-post on a Facebook page I created for that purpose (very eloquently named Stuff for Writers), and indeed to even consider submitting for these opportunities. Further, this confidence, worn as if an outer layer of clothing, makes me feel good about submitting, secure in the belief that I’m a real writer and folks want to read what I write.
So it naturally follows that my piece would be chosen, right? When it isn’t, I am genuinely dumbfounded. I don’t quite know what to do with myself as internalised self-doubt simply doesn’t get along with my suit of confidence. Inevitably, they start fighting. Self-doubt, though it’s been away on holidays, has the home court advantage, and it punches me in the gut.
It gets easier, doesn’t it?