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You’ve spent countless hours writing and revising, crossing every “t” and dotting every “i.” Your work is, without a doubt, publication-ready. So why aren’t you submitting it? Perhaps you’re afraid of rejection. Maybe you don’t have the time for all the research involved, or you’d rather be reading or writing! At Writer’s Relief, we know all the reasons why writers resist making creative writing submissions—and all the reasons why you should make those submissions anyway! If you want to get published, it’s time to get motivated, stop revising, and start submitting.
5 Reasons Writers Resist Making Submissions—And The Solutions!
Reason #1: You’re afraid your work will be tossed aside and rejected.
Solution: Change how you think about rejection letters!
Putting your work out there can feel like sharing a piece of your innermost self with every editor or literary agent you contact. But remember, rejection isn’t personal—and many times it has nothing to do with the quality of your writing!
If you’re making one submission, waiting weeks or months to hear back, then submitting to the next name on your list, it may be time to change things up. Instead, try sending your submission to multiple carefully researched markets at once! And keep sending out work on a regular schedule. With this strategy, the occasional rejection won’t sting as much, because you’ll have plenty of fish left in the sea! And you’ll also boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Remember, all writers deal with a LOT of rejection—even well-known, successful authors!
Reason #2: You’d rather be reading or writing. (Well, who wouldn’t?)
Solution: Smart time management!
Schedule time for each activity you want to accomplish. You could also use reading or writing time as a “reward” for making submissions. For example: Tell yourself that if you make five submissions, you get to write for half an hour or read a chapter of that great new book you can’t put down. Bonus: The time you spend submitting will pass more quickly, and you’ll feel more rejuvenated when you go back to making submissions!
Reason #3: You have too many WIPs and other responsibilities.
Solution: Be realistic about how many projects you can juggle!
It happens to the best of us. You get sidetracked from making submissions because of a busy week at work, running errands, children’s after-school activities, or trying to write too many projects at once. While multitasking is a great way to fuel a writer’s creativity, all writers have a limit—and if you’re trying to do too much, your submissions are sure to suffer. Take an honest look at your to-do list and rearrange your priorities to give yourself more time to focus on your submissions.
You can also delegate! Share weekly cooking and cleaning responsibilities, or join a car pool and take turns picking up the kids. You could hire a service to mow the lawn or clean the gutters. You can even delegate the busywork of making submissions. At Writer’s Relief, we handle all the time-consuming tasks: researching and pinpointing where to send (and just as important, where NOT to send) submissions, formatting, and proofreading. Submit work to our Review Board today; Writer’s Relief clients have more time and energy for writing, salsa dancing, whatever!
Reason #4: You didn’t get any acceptances the first time, so why bother sending out more work?
Solution: Adjust your expectations—getting published is a marathon, not a sprint!
Many writers ask themselves, “If I’m not getting published, what’s the point of making submissions?” We all wish each submission resulted in an acceptance, but for almost every writer, it takes a lot more perseverance. Often, you need to cast a wide net and make a lot of submissions in order to get published. Even the best writing may need to be submitted to many literary journals or agents before it finds its perfect match—we advise our clients that on average, it takes up to 100 submissions to get one acceptance. Don’t sabotage your own writing career by giving up too soon!
Reason #5: You don’t think your work is ready to submit.
Solution: Let go of the drive to be perfect!
While it’s important to proofread and review your work and revise when necessary, many writers get held back because they want their work to be perfect before submitting it for publication. But often, a writer’s perfectionism is actually self-doubt in disguise. By and large, writers are far too critical of their own work! While reading your work, consider how you would look at it if it were written by your best friend or someone in your writing group. You may discover you’re judging your work too harshly.
Having a consistent submission schedule can help. If you have to send your completed work out by a certain date, the urge to constantly revise and rework will be outweighed by having to finish your piece before the submission deadline.
Need A Little More Motivation?
Today, practically all literary journals and agents accept submissions online—so sending your submission can be done in just a few clicks!
Where should you be clicking? On markets that have been researched and targeted to your writing style! Writer’s Relief has over twenty-five years of experience in pinpointing the best markets, kicking resistance to the curb, and helping writers boost their odds of getting published. And for some extra motivation, here are a few writers who’ve tried Writer’s Relief: See what happened!
Question: What’s the biggest reason why you don’t send out submissions?