Monday, October 28, 2013

How Do You Know When You're Ready to Submit?

I'm *this* close to beginning the book submission process. There, I said it out loud. Maybe that will finally convince me to spring into action. I've been thinking today about the question, "how do you know when you're ready to submit?" For writers, this could apply to a number of different things, such as:
  • applying for a copywriting gig
  • submitting a national magazine query
  • finishing a novel
  • starting a blog
  • taking a writing class
  • entering a writing competition
Over the years, I've prepared myself for various income streams. In order to gain more experience as a journalist, I've worked as a stringer for a metro newspaper and began writing parenting articles for regional parenting magazines and websites. I've held editing positions with regional magazines to learn more about how the magazine publishing industry works. I've conducted countless interviews in order to hone my interviewing skills and learn how to tell a better story. When I decided I wanted to take a stab at writing fiction, I wrote and revised and revised. And revised some more. I practiced writing in different lengths and genres, in different POVs and sharpened my voice. I entered writing contests. I wrote book reviews for my blog for extra practice. I shared my work with others and attended conferences. I had my worked critiqued. I picked up books on craft and researched agents through blogs and marketplace listings. 

None of this happened overnight. And rarely does success come easily for any writer. When I first started out, I expected to snap my fingers and make it all happen instantly. Of course, it didn't. And I'd be lying if I said I'm not afraid of the inevitable rejection notes, of hearing that "your project just isn't what I'm looking for." But I know it's all part of the process, and I'm ready for whatever comes my way.

In what ways have you prepared yourself for submission?


Anonymous said...

I discovered your blog through your post on the WOW! Women on writing blog. I totally relate to your insecurities about submitting. Thanks for writing. Here's to both of us putting ourselves out there this year, no more excuses. ;)

Renee Roberson said...

Welcome, Ev, and thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to checking out your blog, as well. I'm glad I'm not the only insecure one around here. All we can do is keep stepping outside our comfort levels, right? Wishing you continued success!