Stage 1: Nausea. Clamp your lips tight as you click the 'send' button or drop that envelope in the postbox, while your stomach tries to escape through your throat and your guts play Cat's Cradle. It's gone. There's no reclaiming it. You've submitted to at least six weeks of morning sickness while your literary baby floats in the amniotic waters of perusal...
Stage 2: Optimism.
You know what? It wasn't that bad. You worked hard on it and it's a decent piece of writing. They'd be fools not to love it. And you've been doing this for so long now, you won't feel crushed if it's a rejection - it's part of the deal, it's par for the course, it's a rite of passage, it's some other trite cliché that makes you feel better. Come on now, it's going to be fine. This time it's all going to work out.
Stage 3. Panic.
What were you thinking, you total moron?! You sent them that? That piece of crap that's been crapped on by a crapmonster made of crap? You idiot. How do you unsend something? Can you tell them it's a mistake? A joke? The pacing is too slow, the dialogue is flat, the description is dull, the premise is unoriginal... Why did you even try in the first place?
Stage 4. Faith.
It's going to be fine. It's going to be fine. THIS IS YOUR TIME. It's gonna happen. It's a strong piece, it's what they wanted, it's new, it's full of voice and intrigue. Come on, you can feeeeeel it. You're going to get that email or that phone call, you're going to try not to hyperventilate, you're going to squee or something, you're going to pour yourself a big 'ol glass of Jim Beam and order a takeaway. This is it. Any day now. You're going to hear from them...
Stage 5. Despair.
Just kill yourself.
Stage 6. Nausea. Again.
You should have heard by now. Any day now. Any day now. What if they call? What if they say yes? Will you be able to splutter out "thank you" while you're chundering? Try not to puke on the keyboard if it's an email. And if it's a "no", well, there's always the Jim Beam.
Stage 7. Acceptance/Rejection