I think the hardest part about writing, or rather attempting an career as a writer, is the waiting. It takes time to craft a great piece of work, but it takes even more time to sell the darned thing. Most editors for periodicals will ask you to give them three to six weeks to read a submission. Most anthologies? Two to three months. Most agents or book publishers who accept a partial? Six months to a year.
A YEAR? Aw man! It's worse than the military! Really!
It is just so frustrating. You work so hard on something and right when you are your most excited about it, your most passionate about it, someone takes your name and number and submission and promises they will get back to you as soon as they can.
So you wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.
All this hurry up and wait business wears on the nerves and can drive an author absolutely mad. (That is if the author wasn't mad to begin with, which as we all know is highly likely!) But, as one who has been on the other side of things, the wait is understandable as well. These editors get slammed with backlogs of work, hundreds upon hundreds of eager wanna-be writers that dump copious amounts of turds on these poor editors, and then expect to be heard back from in a day. Not cool, and this makes your work even harder to get to, as well as enjoy.
Truth be told I prefer for an editor to take a little time to get back to me. Especially with rejections. If I am rejected right out of the box, lets say within a day or two, I get the sneaking suspicion that someone didn't read the piece. A few days, even weeks, leaves me feeling like I was considered for a time, but ultimately the piece just didn't work for them. Whether this is true or not is inconsequential. Its just an interesting effect.
There is nothing you can do about the waiting game. It is a cold, hard fact of the authors life. You write, you submit, you wait. After a time period you either celebrate, or submit again.
And you wait.