I wrote a short story a while back, a humorous bit of sort-of urban fantasy regarding a Joe Shmo who gets offered a ride when he's overburdened with groceries. His kind Samaritan turns out to be a lawyer for "Witches, fae, sidhe... had a selkie once." Some of said witches bear a bit of a grudge.
It's short, only 1500 words. For context, that's about 6 pages double spaced. Okay, it'd be minorly long for a class paper, but let's be honest. There's a lot more research, effort, and so forth that goes into writing a paper on "This paper will prove to the reader that Shakespeare's true purpose behind Ophelia's supposed insanity and subsequent suicide is..." than there is to writing a similar one on "Jane walked out to her mailbox early in the morning. The dragonflower succulent she ordered last week should be arriving shortly."
The difference is submission. It's easy for me to walk into class, stick a paper on a teacher's desk, and be done with it. Yes, I am proud of my writing often, but it's easier to surrender a paper that relies on external sources and analysis to someone who wants me to do well than it is to send something that comes purely from myself to someone who has 5 million of these stupid things by these stupid writers who think they're so cool and come on, if I read one more story about Mary S's magic sword of wonder and awesomeness I am going to hurl, by which I mean these papers in a rubbish bin, preferably on fire.
Okay, the submission readers probably don't have that attitude, but I can tell you I hovered over that "Send" button on my email for a while before I got up the guts to hit it.
Lots of people have written about their first experience submitting. To tell the truth, this isn't my first- I sent an even shorter story (a kid's story about Adele the Pirate) to a company earlier who wants an author to make stories for their... long story short, that was October, haven't heard yet. But they probably have quite a few submissions and are still looking through.
Interestingly, with that one, the story I sent was just to prove my writing chops for kids, not to be published itself. (Although I like how it turned out and I'd be interested in illustrating and publishing it myself sometime maybe.) Yet every time I think about it I get this queasiness in my stomach- What if they didn't like it? What if I haven't heard back because I did it wrong? Why haven't I heard back? Pleeease write back!
I don't know how it'll go with this one. We shall see. Mostly I'm glad I sent it, and I look forward to hearing back one way or another. If they didn't like it, well, I can send it to someone else. Maybe it'll find a home somewhere.
That's all the rambling for now. See you all around.