Monday, July 11, 2011
Why You Should Not Be Afraid to Submit
All of us have the Big Project we're working on, a novel that we expect to have to submit to someone at some point. An agent or editor, or maybe even just readers. I want to talk about smaller stuff today.
Those poems and short stories you wrote in college or in between novels. That are sitting in a file on your computer, waiting to see the light of day. The more writer type people I talk to, the more surprised I am at how few of them submit those poems and stories. I always kind of assumed that submitting was just what you did after you finished a piece, but it doesn't seem like everyone thinks that way.
Am I wrong? Maybe so, but still, there are for sure very talented writers not sending out their littler children into the world, for one reason or another. I'm not saying that you should send out everything you've ever written, but I definitely think its worth taking out some of those pieces, polishing them up, and sending them out.
Why not? Chances are you'll get rejected, but so what? Dory gives us a good mantra for the submission process..."just keep submitting, just keep submitting." Lit magazine rejection has absolutely no bearing on your self-worth or even your true talent as a writer, even though it can feel like it does. But seriously, what better way to get your work read? Isn't that the point? Maybe you do have reasons for not submitting, but please, don't let that reason be fear. Or laziness. Poetry and the short story are fantastic, beautiful forms to work in. Then submit, like you would a novel. I mean really...why not?
Next question, where to submit? Obviously that depends on the piece, but I can try and help you out here. I use Duotrope and New Pages, both directories of literary magazines, and they both do a great job of helping you find the right magazine to submit to.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree that submitting is just a natural part of the process? Do you have a system for submitting your work?