I have been describing myself as a writer ever since I started getting really lucky and fluid with the work on my MS. Something clicked for me when I joined the writing group that helped me put into perspective how to tell the story I wanted to tell, and from that point on writing became so much easier for me. As a result, I do not only have my MS to tout, but a few other short pieces and some poetry too.
At some point, after I’d finished my MS’s first draft, but before I decided to revise, I began looking at some of my short works, and trying to submit them to magazines and contests for publication. Members of my writing group had been published this way, and I thought, “Why wait for a novel to get published when I’ve got some perfectly good work sitting on my hard drive?”
I naturally became much more critical of the work that I had, but still found some pieces I felt were worthy of submission (that I wasn’t embarrassed by) and found places to send them. Unfortunately, I never did get anything published, but truth be told, I really didn’t try that hard either. I spent two or three months, sent maybe five pieces out, and then got wrapped up in living, or maybe that was when I went back to editing my MS. I can’t really remember. Regardless, I gave up on submitting without giving it (or myself for that matter) a decent fighting chance.
Well, now I’m starting the submission process over again, and this time I will not be giving up so easily. I’d like to say, “I won’t make all the same mistakes again”, but the reality is the only mistake that I made was giving up too quickly. I wasn’t inspired to write any new work, and I exhausted all the decent work (I thought) I had. I also didn’t feel comfortable without clear rules, and I didn’t want to break any so I didn’t take any chances. And then there was my complete lack of understanding of copyright and resulting paranoia.
Now, since it was this blog that got me writing everyday again, and has encouraged my efforts going forward, I’ve decided to share with my readers my journey of submission. My hope is that it is helpful to those of you who, like me, are unfamiliar and wary of the process. And for those that have ridden the submission/rejection superhighway, I hope it will give you a place to share in the experience. I look forward to your comments, thoughts, and stories, and as always, I thank you for taking the time to read.