Setting Self Doubt on Fire: The Waiting Game



I’m back again here to share those challenges that us writers face, and how we can hopefully defeat them. So what have I got for you today? Well I’m talking about another tough subject it’s something that makes you anxious to check your emails, it haunts your dreams, it drives you crazy. You’ve guessed it; it’s waiting for that story response. I did a crazy thing some weeks ago where I just submitted those stories (I’m normally a cautious one or two at a time kind of person), but I was like I’m just going to submit them. So I did I felt proud, I was great, and then the days morphed into weeks, which turned into months, and there was still no final decision.


Every day I checked my email hoping and praying to get a response but nothing. “Omg I just want a response,” I said, as I pulled my hair from frustration. However, since then I have got some responses yes I waited ages to get a ‘NO’ all that waiting to get a rejection. Others would ask why we would continually put ourselves through this, but we writers know that any rejection is nothing compared to that acceptance, and that’s what keeps us going. I still currently have stories I’m waiting on, however one editor got back to me in 3 days now that’s what I’m talking about of course it was another no, and the blow to the gut still hurt but it’s better to quickly get those things out the way because waiting is so much worse (I also don’t like super quick rejections lol). No response at all is even worse I got a story that I submitted last year and never got a response (hmm maybe I should have chased that up).


This frustrating process has however got me thinking there just has to be a better way to deal with the waiting game, so I like always came up with 5 ideas. I’m yet to try all of them yet, but I need something before I end up bald, so here you have it my 5 ideas to deal with that waiting game.


  1. Distractions: I’ve found when I’m busy doing other stuff I have no time to worry about things, so I’m thinking that you can do the same after you’ve submitted a story. Sometimes it helps to do something totally different from writing, and if you’re lucky you might even get new story ideas. But rather than sit staring at your email, go paint a picture, bake a cake, plan world domination anything that will help to distract the mind.
  2. Move onto other stories: Once you have finished and submitted a story don’t waste any time thinking about it instead move onto another one because if you’re like me you’ve probably got loads of stories that need writing, editing and submitting. This links with point one because you will be distracting yourself.
  3. Simultaneous submit: There are many editors/publishers that don’t mind you submitting your story to multiple editors as long as when you get an acceptance you inform them of it. No one likes a time waster after all. So rather than submitting a story to one place and waiting months for a no submit it to other places too, as long as the editors/publishers say that it is ok to do because many still do not like the whole simultaneous submissions process.
  4. Channel the energy: All those emotions that you are feeling what would happen if a character felt them? What are they waiting for? How will they deal with all that frustration? Not everyone would be happy with pulling out their own hair. One thing I’ve learned is that when you put all your emotions into a character who doesn’t deal with them like you do an interesting story can blossom.
  5. Chill baby: Now this might not work at all, but sometimes just relaxing can help either it’s a hot bubble bath, meditation or just lying down. Whatever helps to relax the mind can then help you put things in perspective.


So there you have it folks 5 ways to help combat the frustration and anxiety that comes from waiting for a story response. I’ll be trying them so hopefully they can help, it might however just be the case that this is part of what it is to be a writer, but in the end it will be worth it.


Keep writing folks let’s follow this dream.



Nicole Simms

Nicole J. Simms is a UK horror, crime and fantasy writer. However, she is open to writing in other genres. Her stories have been published in anthologies, in magazines and on websites. In 2016, she won the Nine Voices’ 50-Word Halloween Competition with her story ‘Meeting the Parents’. And, her self-published e-book The Book of Drabbles is now available to download for free. She is also the deputy leader of the Oldbury Writing Group, a West Midlands based writing group. They have published a WW2 anthology together titled From Sunrise to Sunset, and they are now working on their second anthology. Stephen King, Sharon Bolton, J. K. Rowling, R. L. Stine and Kelley Armstrong are some of her favourite authors. And, when she’s not writing, she loves to bake, paint, knit and go on nature walks. Find out more at: Website - Facebook link - Twitter link - Goodreads link -

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