Monday, May 23, 2011
Keep Your Chin Up and Submit, Submit, Submit!
Instead of the usual Monday morning check-in, I decided I would visit a topic that I struggle with on a regular basis. The submission process.
When I decided to take the plunge and submit some writing for publication, I really had no clue what to do, how to do it, or what to expect. But like any good hacker -- I mucked along and read submission guidelines, then crossed my fingers and hit the send button. After I got my first rejection (and yes my first reply was indeed a rejection) I thought -- Okay, this has got to be the hardest part of the process.
I was so wrong.
The hardest thing for me to deal with has been the wait between sending my babies in for consideration and hearing back on whether or not these children were acceptable for the general reading public. As anyone who submits work for publication can attest, this reply can take anywhere from a few days (my shortest turn around time was six days - from Pill Hill Press) to a third of a calendar year (as I am seeing with one of my current submissions - 120 days and counting). After a while, you just learn that it is what it is, and part of the "work" of being a writer is having the patience to wait for your response -- good or bad.
Recently, I had subbed in a story for an anthology. While many sites taking electronic submissions now offer a auto reply stating they received your story, so many more do not. This particular site, did/does not. I sent in my story prior to the deadline and settled myself in for the long wait to come. It wasn't until others i knew sent submissions started to hear back that I thought something must be up. Where was my letter? My acceptance or rejection. I dropped an email to the submissions address to query them regarding my submission.
I found out yesterday, it was indeed lost in the Internet nether world and had not been received, but since the deadline had passed, that they would unfortunately have to pass. I did receive the standard -- but please submit again in the future.
Suffice to say, for about 24 hours - I was devastated. My confidence screamed at me that the story is good enough to be included and if they had received and read it, I would have gotten an acceptance like some of my friends had. But all that didn't get my story read or published. Only I could do that.
So here I am today - fresh story in hand and looking for a home. And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings me to my point for today.
If you are a writer, there will be setbacks. There will be disappointments and there will be rejections. Have faith in yourself and your stories. Persistence and confidence in yourself will be the keys to your success. The publication that missed out on my story -- well, they missed out.
Like every good story, eventually it will find the right home. As it is my baby, it is my job to find out where that home is. And the only way I know to do that is...
SUBMIT SUBMIT SUBMIT... If that doesn't work -- SUBMIT again!