I do agree that more creative work is the best distraction from anticipation, as well as being the best antidote for elevated expectations. Investing too much in any given submission is a recipe for disappointment, though the Forum does provides us a unique opportunity to share the anticipatory anxiety we would otherwise be suppressing.
I'm sure L. Ron Hubbard would sooner have seen us at work on the next story (or the one after that) than obsessing over the one we've got in this quarter. And yet, the loneliness that comes with writing is strangely soothed by sharing our sometimes painful anticipation rather than denying it. I have been blessed, I suppose, with a disposition that takes rejection as proof that at least I tried, and no matter how much I had hoped for success in a given sphere, understands failure as a challenge to succeed next time.
I'm in the process of moving from writing "literary" (or mainstream with an academic bent) fiction to speculative fiction, the latter of which is why I wanted to write in the first place, years ago. I was writing fantasy all along, but I never really got a solid grip on the short story form, so I only have two completed spec. fic. stories in circulation, and one of those is a reprint (mostly podcast markets). This year looks promising, though, as I have a no fewer than four stories in the works, which is a huge step forward for me (the past five or six years have been largely spent rewriting a novel I began as an undergrad and continued in my masters thesis). I've set myself a goal of getting six new stories in circulation before the end of the calendar year (including my Q2 sub, which I plan to bounce to a couple quick turnaround mags before the end of the quarter).
I'd urge everyone to read the Brad R. Torgersen guest blog that was posted in...let's see, was it "From the Pros?" Anyway, it's all about perseverance and seeing the big picture (your career, that is). It really got me thinking, though, which is why I bring it up. This is the year, I've decided, in which I will get serious about my writing career. Our youngest is almost one-and-a-half, I'm finally getting to the point where I feel qualified to do my job, and there is nothing (relatively speaking) standing in my way. Except, of course, myself.
So, I plan to use Duotrope to be more productive and efficient (though I'm sure I'll also occasionally indulge my weakness for eager anticipation at times too), just as I plan to use the online communities I've found (the Forum and Critters) for both support and to improve my skills as a writer.
I can't really remember why exactly I started posting tonight, but I hope this makes some kind of sense to someone.
Patrick S. McGinnity
Mt. Pleasant/Beaver Island, Michigan
R x 3
Q2 2012 - HM
Look for "The Dubious Apotheosis of Baskin Gough" in the ARCANE II Anthology.