One day recently, I was sitting at my desk, innocently doing some actual work, when out of nowhere I was struck by a thought.

“I wonder if I beat my previous on-sub length at [market redacted]?”

Oh no. Oh, honey, no. Don’t think about it! You submit, set a reminder to query according to the market’s guidelines, and you stop thinking about it. You don’t look at your stats. You don’t check the queue on Submittable. You don’t.

Reader, I have been obsessing. For the past few days I have looked at Submissions Grinder and watched the numbers go up, as expected, one day at a time. Looking at the Grinder doesn’t do anything! It’s not where I’m notified about decisions! It isn’t anything but a glorified spreadsheet, except it turns colors. Colors are so dangerous. I’m staring at two oranges and a red, which means those stories have been with the markets longer than average. Which means almost nothing.

I am veering into rejectomancy, which is my favorite mystical dark art, but oh it is eating me alive.

I’m three days past my previous best at [market redacted] so I’m foolishly hopeful. I’m on a second tier elsewhere, so I’m waiting with bated breath. Oh, never do this. Drink from the Lethe after you submit, and move on with your lives. Don’t start editing a novel, get antsy because it’s hard, and start obsessing over your short story submissions.

*checks [market redacted]’s Twitter for updates*