Sending out writing submissions in hopes of getting your short stories, poems, essays, or book published can be stressful. After creating your initial draft, there’s all the editing, proofreading, and formatting—plus hours of research to find the right places to submit your work. Then you anxiously wait to learn if your writing has been accepted or rejected. Before you start to hyperventilate, take a deep, cleansing breath. The experts at Writer’s Relief will enlighten you about the best ways to relax and be more Zen while making effective writing submissions.
How To Keep Calm While Making Effective Writing Submissions
With well over 21,000 acceptances garnered for our clients since Writer’s Relief started in 1994, our creative writing submission philosophies are tried-and-true.
Identify your stress triggers. Knowing which aspects of making writing submissions give you the most anxiety and aggravation will help you determine how to make the process more stress-free. Do you ignore submission guidelines? Hate spending hours and hours researching where to send your work? Pinpointing the areas where you need help will make it easier to discover rational solutions and eliminate unnecessary frustration in your writing life.
Listen and pay attention. Pay attention to details and make sure your work is proofread and formatted to publishing industry standards. Nothing turns off literary agents and editors more than a poorly formatted submission filled with typos and grammar errors. Wait, there is one thing they dislike more: when you don’t follow the submission guidelines. Ignoring submission guidelines is one of the fastest ways to end up in the “rejection” pile.
Your query or cover letter should also meet publishing industry expectations. A cover letter should be short and sweet: an intro sentence and brief bio only. Add anything more and you risk getting on the un-Zen side of an overworked literary editor. If you’re submitting a book to literary agents, it’s important to include everything your query letter needs to be successful—and leave out unnecessary filler.
Focus on what matters. Doing all the research necessary to properly target your work is an essential step in making successful submissions. There are THOUSANDS of literary journals and agents out there, with new ones popping up every day. You need to determine if reading dates have changed, if agents are taking on new genres, and more. Not only must you locate the latest information on the right markets—you also need to spend hours eliminating all the wrong places to send your work. But putting the necessary effort into this important task will ultimately relieve anxiety, because you’ll know your work has the best chances of getting into the right hands.
At Writer’s Relief, we have a team of experts tracking, updating, and selecting the best markets for our clients to boost their odds of getting more acceptances. We focus on the busywork so writers can focus on writing! Our clients are more relaxed, happier, and definitely feeling more Zen. If you’d like to find out if Writer’s Relief can help make your writing life calmer and your submissions more effective, submit your work to our Review Board today. There’s no obligation (to keep your life stress-free)—learn more here.
Take a deep breath and repeat. Let this be your writing submission mantra: Every rejection brings me one step closer to an acceptance.
There’s no way around it: Getting a rejection can be disappointing and stressful. Even seasoned writers with many acceptances will receive many rejections. But when you send out work on a regular schedule to multiple markets, you improve your odds of success and lessen the sting of any rejections. If you get one rejection, remembering that you have other submissions circulating makes it easier to release your anxiety and stress.
For creative writers whose writing is strong and who are making well-targeted submissions, the average rate of acceptance is 1 out of 100. Sending out more submissions more often will help you chip away at that number. Remember, Writer’s Relief can help (that is a relief!).
Visualize success. Making polished, carefully researched submissions on a consistent schedule is a philosophy that has worked well for our clients. In fact, each week we’re thrilled to learn some of our clients have received acceptances from literary journals or requests for full manuscripts from literary agents. So once you’ve sent out your submissions, let the tension out of your shoulders and visualize an acceptance letter appearing in your e-mail inbox. Then mark your calendar and get ready to send out submissions again!
Now that you know how to make your writing submission process more Zen, it’s time to follow your bliss—which could be spending more time writing, taking a walk outside, or eating chocolate cake. Or maybe writing while outside and eating chocolate cake!
Question: What strategies do you use to keep calm while making writing submissions?