My non-fiction creative writing professor was quite adamant that as writers we would need to submit our work, not just stare at it until we hated it. Although we were rather upset about the fact that this meant that we had to sit in the classroom having a collective breakdown while trying to figure out what possible publications would even read our work, it was an interesting experience. Plus, the professor made some great points.
If you are going to be a writer in this world, you have to deal with rejection. A lot of rejection. It’s tempting to try to put that off, wait for a better story to come around that will absolutely have to be accepted, but that’s not how this works. You have to know when your story is ready for the world, even if it isn’t ready to be published. Sometimes, there is nothing else to do at that point in time but send them out. Each rejection makes you stronger. My professor was happy to share that she has a giant folder full of them.
Even if the piece you are submitting never gets accepted, it’s an opportunity to research various magazines and contests. This gives you a chance to learn about these options. You can learn about submission qualifications and what makes each publication unique, giving you ideas of where you can submit in the future. Part of the process involves finding places that publish things you like to read that will also accept what you like to write.
As you can see, I have recently been submitting. The story that has been submitted three times was the piece that my creative writing professor had me submit. It’s been rejected once so far. As for the most recent submission, I wrote it, edited it, and then submitted it to a place that seemed relatively decent. I will look into more suitable places as time goes on but I figured it was more exciting to just do it and see what happens.
Stop sitting on what you’ve got. Put your name out there and get those rejections. Write on!