"What's the worst that could happen?" That's the question I ask myself when that icy cold, gut churning fear grips me just before I send off a submission of my writing. "That's easy," you say. "The worst that could happen is a rejection. They say 'no.'" Ha! Shows how little you know of the dark and fearful recesses of the writer's soul. What's the worst that could happen? They could say "no" and ...
They could laugh at me behind my back AND
They could pass my story around their office from one editor to another, laughing more hysterically with each moment AND
They could send me a scathing letter demanding to know how I could possibly ever have deluded myself into thinking that I could write or might be worthy of publication AND
They could post my story and query on their blogs as an example of what not to do, accompanied by their brutal point by point decimation of my work, AND
They could tweet throughout the twitterverse about my appallingly embarrassing lack of talent AND
They could read excerpts of my work at conferences to demonstrate the level of depraved crap that gets submitted to them on a daily basis AND
They could publish my name and contact information online as a warning to fellow members of the publishing industry that the mere possibility of contact with my writing might taint them and all connected with them as horrifically bad writers AND
They might launch a global campaign to have my name blacklisted from publication for all time AND
They might issue a ban on my work throughout the publishing industry as punishment for the effrontery of my presumption that my work deserved consideration.
In my dangerously creative brain, that is, in fact, the worst that could happen. Welcome to the curse of imagination. Thankfully, some sane part of my brain says, "Yes. That's the worst that could happen. And it probably won't. They'll probably just say 'no.'" And so I take a deep breath and I put that envelope in the mail or click "submit" or "send" on the computer screen. Because, hey, what's the worst that could happen? They might say "yes."
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