I keep a spreadsheet that tracks all the stories I’ve written, revised, and started sending out to potential markets. In addition, I use The (Submission) Grinder to track where I’ve sent my little scribblings. It is, in a lot of ways, a duplication of effort. And my personal spreadsheet has the convenience of capturing all the info I care about the most, all in one place, in a format that is intuitive for me. Which raises the question of why I bother with the online system.
Two reasons, really, but they both revolve around the same idea: the online system is free and publicly available and lots of people use it. So on the one hand, there is a certain amount of crowd-sourced information I can only get from The Grinder, including the average response time for each market, and whether or not people have started getting acceptances or rejections from the editor. People really do log both of those outcomes, which I admit surprised me a little when I first started checking in there. I would have understood completely if people happily updated records when they got acceptances and anything that was just hanging out as “pending” would have to be assumed to be a rejection, with the author in question not caring to rub salt in the wound of a “no” by navigating The Grinder’s interface solely to select REJECTED from the Submission Status dropdown.
That’s the idea on the other hand, that even though I, personally, do not like dwelling on rejections any longer than is absolutely necessary, I still need to dwell on them long enough to enter them into The Grinder. Making use of the outcomes of a group effort without contributing any effort of my own would be a cruddy thing to do. So I swallow my pride and add my own results to the corpus of statistics, and I tell myself that maybe, just maybe, in some cosmic way this not only balances the scales but tips them a tiny bit in my favor.
As you may have guessed, this post is a bit of a follow-up to this one, in the same vein of sending things out and seeing if any publishers bite. That was three months ago; I’ve sent out more since then, but I’m still waiting to hear back on a few of the ones I was already waiting on back then. I did, encouragingly, hear yesterday that one of the stories I submitted all the way back in February was shortlisted, with a final decision expected by mid-August, so that was a plus. I also got a rejection for a story I had sent out just two weeks ago. I dutifully logged the “no thanks” on The Grinder just before I started this post.