Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Submission Angst

 Here I sit at my computer. I am gathering up courage to begin preparations for submission to a agents and publishers. It is a scary process for me. I have been writing for a long time for others, corporations, non-profits, individuals, and just for "the heck of it." Submitting the creation of your imagination is different. You own the idea. You see the vision. You know what you want the story to say to the reader.  You want individuals to pick your book and want to know more about your characters.

My first writers' conference I met an individual who was very frustrated. He had submitted was rejected more than 100 times. No one wanted his book. He was crushed. He had the story proofed for grammatical and writing errors. He has several "beta readers" who actually test read for story viability.  They gave him good reviews. He tried to get his story out to the public. My heart went out to him. Timing, taste, demographics, and sometimes just luck can make the difference whether someone likes what you write. I find writing to be a thankless gift. The writer unconditionally loves his or her craft.

       I am sure if you ask a writer how do you write?  Each one has a different answer. Each writer develops there own plan and pace for each story or book.  Some writers love the joy of discovering a character, a setting, or a dialogue that fits perfectly with the emotions that the characters are feeling. Other writers revel in the planning of the story, the outlining, the overall picture that gets their creative juices flowing. There are writers who just sit down and write until they drop.

       Asking a writer about the work of submitting for publication may summon all the fears of turning in a term paper, thesis, article, dissertation. A manuscript submission is no different than turning in your assignment, in fact, it may be worse. Each publisher, agent,  or e-book company has specific guidelines or rubrics. Any mistakes is an indication of failure to pay attention to details. This is even before they read the actual manuscript.  So in the words of a character from a popular TV series: "I just have to put my big girl panties on and do this" submission stuff.    




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