In the dark of night, after hours of writing, editing, and proofreading…eek! THE END is near! The end of writing your short story, essay, poetry, or book, that is. Now that you’re finished writing and it’s time to start submitting your work, you may be feeling a bit leery. Perhaps you’re haunted by the possibility of getting rejections. Or the idea of having to spend hours researching markets makes your blood run cold. Don’t panic! The experts at Writer’s Relief have the best tips to help you get over the fear of submitting your writing to literary journals or agents.
How To Get Over The Fear Of Making Submissions
Ward off the fear of rejection. For many writers, the idea that editors or agents may reject the manuscript they’ve worked so hard on is enough to stop them from making any submissions. The easiest way to overcome this mental roadblock is to realize that rejection happens to every writer, from Stephen King to Dr. Seuss. In fact, the average rate of acceptance is one out of 100 submissions. So, while rejection letters may seem like an approaching horde of zombies, each rejection will actually bring you one step closer to the dawn—and an acceptance!
Overcome the fear of criticism. Criticism of your writing may feel like a wooden stake to the heart. Indeed, researchers have learned that our brains must experience five positive things to recover from one negative experience! But feedback from editors or literary agents may help improve your writing. Literary editors and agents are busy people—if they’re taking the time to send you comments or a critique, it means your submission stood out to them. Here are tips on how to handle criticism like a pro.
Remember, criticism is subjective: What one editor doesn’t like, another may find irresistible. You shouldn’t automatically make sweeping changes based on just one editor’s or agent’s comments. But if you do notice the same feedback coming from multiple readers—you may want to take another look at your work with their suggestions in mind.
Combat the fear of commitment. We don’t mean to make your hair stand on end like the electrified locks on the bride of Frankenstein. But it’s important to commit to a consistent schedule when making submissions. The more often you submit work, the less frightening any rejections will be. However, carrying out a well-targeted ongoing schedule of submissions means spending an almost scary amount of time researching potential markets for your work. If the thought of all those lonely hours researching the best markets for your writing sends shivers up your spine, Writer’s Relief can help! Our spirited research experts will target the best markets for your work and boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Listen to a few of our happy client talking heads to learn more!
Defeat the fear of success. What if one day, lurking in the dark recesses of your e-mail, you find an acceptance? Most writers would immediately jump up and perform their best monster mash happy dance! But for some writers, success may be a little…scary.
You might feel pressured to immediately get another acceptance—and what if you don’t? Some writers suffer from impostor syndrome even when successfully published. And introverted writers might feel uncomfortable singing their own praises on social media. Or maybe your friends and family aren’t supportive of your writing success. Don’t let the fear of getting an acceptance paralyze you! At Writer’s Relief, we’re our clients’ best cheerleaders. For over twenty-six years, we’ve provided support and encouragement so writers can feel confident sending out submissions. Find out how we can help you: Submit your short stories, essays, poetry, or book to our Review Board today!
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to sink your teeth into overcoming your fear of submitting your writing. Now, as far as dealing with the monster under your bed…
Question: What’s your biggest fear about sending out writing submissions?
My problem is getting feedback from those who agree to read my beta draft. This includes some friends. Should I nudge them? How long should I wait before moving on to others who will? Where can I find beta readers beyond my current group? I signed up for an online source and didn’t get any response.
You may find this article of interest: https://writersrelief.com/2018/03/09/taking-feedback-on-your-creative-writing-writers-relief/
Suppose my story is accepted by a literary journal, but I have a revision that I think is better, is it ok to ask the editor if they would consider publishing the revision?
Before you send out your submissions, you should be sure your work is the best it can be and should not need further editing. If work is accepted by an editor, that version is considered worthy of publication.