Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Perils of Publishing

Computers clip art

There's been a small chat going on in my critique group. One of the members mentioned as her final comment to her message that ...once you start submitting everywhere...well, you start getting accepted, too.

How very simple a statement, but ladies and gentlemen, it's loaded with wisdom and good advice. If publication is your aim (and that's not always the case for every writer), you must submit your work. On a regular basis. It's like taking all your clothes off and walking naked down the main street of your town. Well, that may be pushing it a bit, but if you send your work to a magazine editor or an agent or a book publisher, aren't you baring it all? They are going to read what you've written. They are going to see what you think, what you write, what you care about in this life. Oh yes, it's all there hidden within the things you write.

I can't tell you how many times I run into a writer who is fearful of submitting. No one likes rejection, and if you submit your writing, you are at great risk of that happening. Not just risk. It's almost a certainty that you're going to receive some rejections. My own experience tells me it's not a bit fun, but along with those rejections, you have an excellent chance of being accepted, as well. With everything I write? might well be the first question you have after reading the preceding.

No, not with everything you write, but the chances are good that you'll have some acceptances if you do these things:

1. write and rewrite before you submit
2. edit and re-edit before you submit
3. let your work simmer a few days before you submit
4. add some sensory details to enhance what you've written before you submit
5. check for mechanical errors and correct them before you submit
6. read the guidelines carefully of the publication you are sending to before you submit

Submitting your work for publication is not for wimpy writers. Uh-uh! It's work. It all comes down to sending your best writing each time you submit. As for those inevitable rejections--learn from them. Study the returned piece and assess it with an objective, critical eye. 

Meanwhile, take your clothes off and walk down Main St--figuratively speaking, that is. Submit your best work and submit often. Don't let your writing gather dust in your files. Send it out!


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