Do you write for yourself or for publication?
This week, I’ll talk about submissions.
- Are You Still Submitting Before Revising?
- Are You Still NOT Submitting?
- Are You Still Submitting Blind?li>
- Are You Still Singly Submitting?
- Are You Still Not Tracking Submissions?
Are you Still NOT Submitting?
When a friend recently started writing, we talked about why he might want to write. Maybe he could write a family history for his grandmother. Or, write sports news articles. Perhaps, write a novel.
There are many reasons to write and publication is only one of them. Emily Dickinson said that publishing is the “auctioning of the mind.” Think about that one! If it’s true and our stories sell for little advance, and then sell even worse in the stores, does it mean that our mind is worthless? It is the terror that publication success might indeed say something about our worth as humans.
Publication is a business. Do you want to write so that your words will help someone make money? Then you must fit into their categories, meet the needs of their audience, please that persnickety editor, and the even choosier teen you merely glances at boring titles.
There’s nothing wrong with writing for your grandmother or your grandchild. But if you want someone to pay you for your writing, if you want someone to buy your books and recommend them so that precious word-of-mouth gets going, then you have to write with a different mind set.
Once you’ve got the mind set right, you’ve written the appropriate story, you’ve revised that story, then you must send it out.
Manuscripts Sitting in a Drawer Will Not Sell
Sorry. No editor is going to come over to your office and flip through your files.
I was talking to someone about their fear of submission. In the end, it comes down to this for me: I fear rejection, but what I fear the most is that twenty years from now, I’ll look back and regret not taking the chance. In an old Doonesbury cartoon, Milo faces a future self and is disappoint with who he will become. The Future Milo says, “We feared the risks needed to excel in life and now live a life of mediocrity.”
Take the risks needed to excel as a published author. Submit. Today
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