How many of these seven signs of success are showing up in your writing life?
Your work is strong. You’ve done your homework. You read regularly, voraciously. You’ve spent your time in workshops, lectures, and seminars at writing conferences. You’ve gotten really good at accepting both praise and criticism. You’re beginning to have a sense of confidence in your writing that you only thought you had before. And it’s starting to show.
You know the drill. Along with mastering your craft, you’ve put in your time learning about the etiquette of the publishing industry when it comes to submitting to literary agents or to literary journals. You know the proper format for a manuscript. You know the importance of professional proofreading. You know what your query letter or cover letter should say. Your submission packets (or electronic submissions) are polished, professional, and attractive.
You’re submitting regularly (and writing regularly). You take your submissions as seriously as you take your writing, and that means you’re setting aside a little time for both at regular intervals. Because your submissions are going out regularly, you’re in a better position to get more publication offers and acceptance letters.
You look at rejection letters positively. You’ve made it over the rejection letter hump and you no longer feel a debilitating pang of disappointment when your work is turned down. You look at your rejection letters as badges of honor: They mean you’re not letting the world get you down. You’re out there; you’re trying; you’re a positive thinker.
You’re not afraid of numbers. Along with being positive about your rejection letters, you’ve also made it past a writer’s urge to “just quit” after a few submissions. You understand that submissions are, to some extent, a numbers game. You know that if a work is reasonably strong, there absolutely is somebody out there who wants to read it. And that means you’re persistent. You’ll send a given piece out for as long as it takes until it finds a good home.
You’re getting better at knowing where not to send your work. In the beginning, you sent your writing almost everywhere. But now, you’re being more selective. You want to have a say over where your work is published, and you want to make sure that your work is given the white glove treatment. That means you’re spending more time searching through market books for lit mags and researching literary agents online. (Or you’re working with Writer’s Relief, so you know the research is spot-on.)
You’re always after something better. Your writing is getting better. Your submissions are getting better. Each day, you’re pushing yourself to be the best you can be. And every time you think you’ve made it to the top, you discover an exciting new peak to climb. But you’re in it, first and foremost, for the joy of the journey, not necessarily the accolades.
Does This Sound Like You?
If so, congratulations! You’ve got a healthy submission strategy and the mindset to go the distance.
But if you’re feeling frustrated, pessimistic, or just too busy to carve out the time needed to develop a strong submission strategy, it may be time to contact Writer’s Relief. Our submission strategists are more than trained motivators who are there to keep you writing; they’re also trained professionals who will regularly and expertly guide your submissions into just the right hands.
Photo by Jeff Hester.