by Savannah Hendricks
Anyone who has been in the writing game for as long as I have will tell you it can be a wild rollercoaster. But, there is a way to take those hopeless times and make them better. And guess what? It involves more writing, more research, and more of you!
When I first started submitting my manuscripts I would sit around and ponder what to do next. Other than stalk my mailman of course. Yes, back when I started submitting, most were done through snail mail. I soon learned that having other manuscripts in the works is one key way to lessen the hopeless feeling. Yet, even with that, I still felt lost with my writing.
When rejections started to come in, it made my entire writing career feel utterly hopeless. It’s hard to keep writing a new story when you are collecting rejections like rocks on the shore.
For a while, I didn’t have an answer of what to do.
Then, I did.
Outside of new book length manuscripts, I started writing poetry and short stories. I did everything from children’s literature to adult horror to non-fiction pieces. I started submitting to magazines, online and in print, paying and non-paying. I needed someone to accept my writing. I needed to have hope return.
Once I started submitting the pieces the acceptances started to roll in. Wow, I could sell my work! Yes, I still got rejections, but when you have a story coming out in a month with a magazine, that rejection stings a little less.
Not only did my writing feel validated, but I was able to work on my craft. Writing for magazines is different than writing a middle grade book. Writing a non-fiction piece is different than writing a picture book. I went through edits with editors and added more tools to my wheelhouse of knowledge.
Bonus, my articles and stories were published in a rather quick turnaround time, adding to an instant acknowledgement. I had pieces to add to my bio sheet. And the best thing of all, it opened up doors that I didn’t expect….
I had been submitting to an online children’s magazine and received two acceptances. Those stories ended up in a print anthology (which was not the original plan from the publisher) and lead to an additional surprise. THAT connection helped me seek out other writing projects to submit to the non-fiction side of the publication and landed me a contract for a three book series of early childhood education activities.
I encourage you to search your stories and find something you can submit, be it a blog, a magazine, an anthology, or other publication. You might have a story you started, but didn’t really get a chance to develop. See if you can turn that into a short story and submit it. In most cases, submissions cost you nothing since you no longer need to mail them. You have NOTHING to lose, and HOPE to gain.
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http://theseashellsoflife.wordpress.com/ And you can follow her on Twitter @AuthorSavannah
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!