Submitting Without Fear

Rejection is subjective.

Rejection is part of the craft of writing.

Rejection hurts.

I’ve lost two contests and I’m going for my third.

My question is, how do I submit as if I haven’t been rejected? How do I write my best work without being afraid I’ll fail again?

sk-on-writingThe answer for me was going back to the beginning. To refresh my memory of why I am here and why I am doing such a silly thing like submitting at all.

The first book I read was Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Here’s a quote:

“The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story … to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all. The single-sentence paragraph more closely resembles talk than writing, and that’s good. Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?”

I’ve not thought of myself as a seductress for a while now. But I’ve heard it’s like riding a bike. This round I think I’ll use my purple pen to polish my entry.

Wish me luck. I hope you beta readers are ready. I’m days away from sending it out.

Readers: What do you do when you need to find your writing magic?

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35 responses to “Submitting Without Fear

  1. I love On Writing, that is always an inspirational read. Good luck!! I have a feeling the third time will be the charm.

  2. At least rejections mean you are actually submitting. Consider them a trophy for trying. And I love the quote. Good luck seducing that win with your sexy purple pen 🙂

  3. I like that you are still staying positive and still out there trying! After all, many of the greats were rejected numerous times before finally getting their big break.

  4. Interesting, timely post. I recently decided not to enter any more contests, with maybe a slight few exceptions.

    The chances of winning are so slim for everyone, they can add up to quite a bit of money if you enter enough of them, and if they publish your work, hardly anyone sees it. Instead, I’m going to submit my work to paying markets. It’s free and they pay you if your story is accepted. Some markets also have a huge audience, which can’t be said for those university presses, literary journals, and small zines that tend to hold writing contests.

    This may help you as well. I also found contests to be quite discouraging.

  5. That’s great advice from Stephen King. The books that make you forget you’re even reading them are the best ones. I like the idea of seducing the reader. Great way of thinking about it.

  6. Tell yourself that those other contests weren’t meant to be. That the next one will be it. And just keep saying that. I believe things happen for a reason. When I get query rejections, it does hurt, but I tell myself that this agent wasn’t the right one for me, that if I keep on I’ll find that right agent eventually. 🙂

  7. Contests are subjective and it depends on how many entries and of what quality. So keep writing and keep submitting. It’s all a numbers game.

  8. The important thing is to realize that a rejection, any rejection, doesn’t mean your writing isn’t good enough. Much more often, it means that the editor’s personal taste (or his first readers’ personal tastes) don’t harmonize with your writing style or your story idea. Getting accepted means your style and the editor’s vision match. Like in life, in literature such matches are rare and precious.

  9. I’ve entered contests before. Didn’t win either of them but one of them gave encouraging feedback, which was nice. Good luck!

  10. I keep meaning to grab his book. I may not write novels, but I agonize over content posts and reviews. Best of luck!

  11. Yeh for purple pens!

    Rejection is an old “frenemy” of mine. It brings out both the best and the worst in me. 🙂

  12. Love the King quote. Many a millionaire/best-selling author/movie star was rejected before they became big.

  13. I write. Nothing happens in the writing world if you don’t. I like to think of work as more of a portal for readers to enter than myself as a seductress. But hey, believe what works. King is a genius.

  14. Writing as seduction…I like that one! Keep on submitting and ploughing through. I mean, you’ve only been rejected twice. 😛 No, but seriously, keep at it. You can do it!

  15. jennifer@badbirdreads

    Have to stay positive. Good luck.

  16. I really wish I could say I found magic in a specific way. I just can’t. It’s either there, or it isn’t.

  17. Writing is seduction. I like that concept. Good luck with your submission. Have to get my submission butt in hear because I aimed to submit more in 2017. And it’s mid-January and I haven’t submitted anything yet.

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