‘Let your story or article sit before you submit it, but only for a day or two, perhaps a week. Then polish and send it off to market’
– Quote from Getting Published, Writer’s Digest Books
I have written over 200 short stories, 300 poems, 30 songs, around 300 articles, two novels (I’m currently shopping around) and have scratched my name into four picnic tables…(what can I say, writers must write…right?) and one of my biggest setbacks is that many of those stories have waited too long to be fondled by an editor.
Procrastination is one of those great enemies of writers. We write our stories, reread them, maybe even share them with a few friends, and then have a silly little ritual of hiding them away in our my-next-intention-is-to-submit-this-puppy box or file cabinet, and the next time we see them is when we lost our car keys in that general area. Even then we don’t have time to pick it back up…we are rushing out the door, late, because of those stupid keys.
I have said many times: Writers must Write, to be called writers. This is true, but there really is no reason, especially in these days with online publications, and a ton of literary magazines and e-zines, for a writer to be starving.
There are a ton of markets who are ready to buy your amazing piece. There are editors that are looking (as you read this) for your story, poem, or article. But for some crazy reason, and I think it is because of this peanut scare, or editors fears of fleshing pickles walking the streets, editors are not going to come to your house and ask you for that story…
But can you imagine…..
You get a knock on the door. When you open it there is a man, dressed in a suit, clothes torn, hair messed up, and smells like Fred Bull’s (the 440 pound winner of last years hot dog eating contest) armpits.
You: “Can I help you?”
Editor: “I have walked 500 miles, and then I walked 500 more, just to be the editor who walked a 1,000 miles and now sits here at your door.” (maybe that was a song…yeah)
You: “Why?” you ask the stinky little creepy man who looks like he lost a fight with an elephant…who doesn’t ….wear deodorant? (I don’t know)
Editor: “….because I know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the editor who buys your story from you.” (He might even have a singing twin!)
POINT is: It never happens this way…and if it does for you, record it and put it on YouTube!
You have to submit, and submit often, if you plan on getting your work published. I have had several things published, but I can tell you that I had to get my share of rejection slips first, and to get those I had to submit.
Don’t let anything stop you from submitting your work. As you write and hang out in cafe’s coffee shops, bookstores, etc. you are going to meet many people who all claim the same thing
“Yea, I have written several stories. They’re all on files, or drawers, somewhere, I think.” Fellow writer, I urge you to make it your personal, active daily goal to never become that person.
Don’t let fear stop you
- Fear that no one will like your story- some won’t, who cares, you didn’t write it for them; others will love it. There are publications looking for it.
- Fear that it will get rejected? It probably will, this is not bad, I look at it as the markets way of helping narrow my search’ it gets me closer, with each rejection, to the right market.
I want to encourage you to take out that piece that has been laying around for some time now, dust it off, polish it up, and send it off.
What ever you do, do it.
You, my friend are a writer!