Always. Be. Submitting.

Just a quick thing today: I’ve given this advice before, but I think it bears repeating. Writing with an eye toward publication means rejection. If a piece gets rejected but the editors or agents gave no notes, unless you yourself really think there’s something needing some tinkering, get that back out on the submission rounds ASAP. Ideally, when you were choosing where to submit to, you picked out more than one market in the first place, so on to the next one. If that file isn’t getting emailed to another editor within the hour, you are going to languish in the morass of “woe is me”-isms and not make any progress.

New writers, seriously. Perseverance is what separates someone with a big publication record from someone without one. Rejection is not about you as a human, you as a cool person, you as a smart person, or you as anything other than the writer of the words on that page. It does not speak to your overall value and may indeed have way more to do with the fit between your piece and that market. Yes, if a piece gets notes back or keeps getting rejected, maybe it’s time to rework it (note I did not say “delete” or “retire” it; a lot of work can be salvaged more than you think). But if you get one “no,” that in no way means the next response won’t be a “yes.” Chill out and re-send it.


Filed under blog, writing advice

7 responses to “Always. Be. Submitting.

  1. Michael Burnside

    Sll true. My story “Exodus from Mars” was rejected 7 times before being accepted by a magazine for publication.

  2. My debut novel was rejected 80 times by agents and/or publishers before acceptance (that’s not counting the “ignores”). Every time it was rejected, if an editor or agent was kind enough to tell me why, I went in and made fixes. My book has sold over 100 copies both e-books and printed combined….not bad for a first try. Oh….and I’d been submitting since the end of 2012. I just kept re-writing, and tweaking, and slicing and dicing, until the book was good enough to be picked up by a good publisher.

  3. Great advice! And not only to keep submitting, but submit to multiple places at once!

    I used to have a habit of sending one story out, and then waiting. But now I have two or three (or as many as I can handle!) different pieces submitted to different journals, competitions, etc.

    You can’t keep all your eggs in one basket!

    • Very true! Just always be mindful of submission guidelines for markets and ensure that if it’s the same piece that no one has a “no simultaneous submissions” clause. 🙂

      • Oh for sure! I never do simultaneous submissions – it feels a bit messy. Always different pieces, different places 🙂 It also makes sure that I’m constantly writing new things!

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