...almost ten years. Oh, man, I'm nervous! [headdesk]
I just sent a story to Torquere. It's just a short, for their "Sips" line. And if they don't like it I can try it elsewhere, although there aren't all that many publishers for homoerotic science fiction short stories. But still, if it gets bounced then it's one more letter for my rejection slip collection (have to dig up that file folder -- I know it's around the computer room somewhere) and I keep going. In fact, I have other stories I could be working on and I'll do just that, and send them out too, as soon as this insanely nervous energy burns off.
I have done this before, really I have. It's just been a long time, you know? My last submission went out in '99, and shortly after that I went on the depakote that killed my creativity completely and I couldn't write a word for years. Even when I went off the stuff it took a couple more years after that before it fully cleared out of my system and I could write again. I was feeling sort of hesitant, after so many years of being completely unable to write, so I decided to get my feet wet in fanfiction.
That worked out well, actually. I did a lot of writing and readers seem to like my stuff, which is great. I've been doing it a bit longer than I thought I would when I started, but I don't feel like it was time or effort wasted and in fact I have no intention of stopping -- it's fun, it's good practice, and I have an audience willing to pay me in positive comments, which is the most payment I've gotten from any audience so far. [wry smile] But I've felt like I was ready to get back to writing original fiction for submission since around NaNo last year and I've finally done it.
I know the drill -- now that I have something "out" it's time to turn to the next story. Fretting over what's already in the mail is pointless and a waste of time; I know that too.
But I think I'll give myself until tomorrow at least to chew on my fingernails and worry that I missed some awful typo in the manuscript or mis-formatted something or misinterpreted some requirement in the guidelines or... whatever. Just till tomorrow.
Then I'll set it aside and get on with the next story. For now, though, I'm still fretting.