Submission Angst

Other than to school lit mags, I’ve never submitted anything anywhere in my life.  I realize that if I want to be a published writer, I’m going to need to submit things for publication.  I’ve read the books, the writer’s essays, the blogs.  I know that everyone in the history of writing has been rejected at some point by somewhere.  I know that once I get off my ass and do it, the jumping from high place sensation will kick in and I’ll be okay.  But now I’m teetering at the edge of the abyss, thinking that it is much too far down.  There is still time before the leap and the ‘too late now’ sensations.

It isn’t exactly a fear of rejection that stops me.  Part of me fears being accepted and then hating the work that I’ve done.  Fears getting out there and having what I write not represent what I want it to.  Every year I get better as a writer.  Every time I write something it is better than the thing I wrote before it.  While this progress is nice, it keeps me crippled in many ways.  If I can build it stronger, faster, better with only the technology of time, then nothing is stopping me from waiting until I am at the unnameable peak of my talent.  (Until, as a friend pointed out, I’m likely dead.)

I can see the progress.  But I want it to be perfect.  I want things to be better than good enough.  I don’t want the reading worlds’ first impression of me to be less than I am.

I know I just need to take the leap.  To step out over the edge, hit the ‘send’ button, and let my darlings fly away from me.

I’m trapped in the eternal human gap between knowing what we need to do and taking the necessary action.

3 Responses to “Submission Angst”

  1. Sumedh

    In my honest opinion, there is a fundamental question people need to ask themselves and answer it, instead of ignoring it. And it goes in the manner of truly being true to yourself in your work.

    It’s easy to sway around, and let your real dreams allude you. Is the goal to tell something your mind wants to, effectively, hidden behind words; or is the goal to be published and be read? I have seen many people who seem to get confused between these two, and also mistake them to be the same.

    It’s easy to ‘get published’, by deliberating a piece of writing after studying what the current social patterns seem to show a proclivity towards; in simple terms, just by understanding ‘what sells’.
    But in my opinion, the best of writers and the best of writings have been those who have wanted to say something, and concentrated on the manner of saying it effectively, without bothering too much about whether it’ll get published or not. But if you are true to yourself, truly, then there’s no reason why you won’t be published. Sooner or later.

    Yes, people may not realize its worth at the moment, and may not even read it. But it’s better, I think, to be understood and appreciated later, and eternally, than to be read and forgotten immediately.

    Of course the question of survival and earning your bread persists, but one has to seek solutions to it which do not cause one to write dishonestly. Honesty here does not imply non-fiction, obviously; it simply means writing what you want to write, what your soul wants to say.

  2. Ursula

    Well, you could come up some weekday (I have Tuesdays and Thursdays unscheduled though hypothetically mathful) and we could have a submissions party.

  3. girlgriot

    Oh dear, but this sounds familiar. The ladies in my writers’ group have offered to take my work and do all the submissions … and I still can’t get it done. I’ve gone through periods of sending work out (few and far between, those periods, but still), and I can say that no, the rejections don’t bother me. I’m still working on figuring out what’s holding me back.

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