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Tips for Developing Submission Habits (Tip #3)
Contributor
Written by
Anna Leahy
May 2011
Contributor
Written by
Anna Leahy
May 2011

These TIPS for developing positive submission habits emerged from the first live chat and The Submission Mission group: http://www.shewrites.com/group/thesubmissionmission. Join us for the next chat on June 3.

Tip #1: http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/tips-for-developing-submission

Tip #2: http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/tips-for-developing-submission-1

TIP #3: DON’T LET REJECTIONS OR ACCEPTANCES SLOW YOU DOWN.

It’s easy to get discouraged by rejections. It’s also easy to kick back in the wake of an acceptance. It’s difficult to separate submission from publication, but if we can mentally separate the act of submitting from the results of that act, we might be better able to sustain a regular habit. 

I expected a recent acceptance of three poems to Zócalo Public Square to spur me on, but my records show no rush of submissions in the wake of that news. In fact, I submitted nothing in April. Worse, when I looked at my log, the fact that I hadn’t submitted at all last month surprised me. My actual records didn’t match my mental recall. Instead of waiting to check my log only when I need to jot down a rejection or acceptance, I need to check my records more regularly so that I don’t lose track of how long it’s been since I last sent work out—since I last worked out.

Not too long ago, I received a few rejections of a story I really want to find a home. If the poetry acceptance didn’t spur me on, why didn’t the rejections lead me to get that story right back out there? Sometimes, I get discouraged by a rejection, but mostly I jot down the rejection in my log and toss the paper slip or email message in the physical or virtual trash.

What I think I’ll do in the future is not throw away my rejection notices right away. Instead, I’ll pile them on my desk, and every time I have three for a single piece, I’ll know I need to get that piece back into editors’ hands—or I need to revise it.

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Comments
  • Thanks for the post Anna. I keep a log, a file I call, "List submitted work" that I start my writing day by looking at--I keep potential targets in there, along with a list of everything that is currently out. It helps me stay on track. Up at the top I have work that hasn't been placed yet by category (poetry, essays, short stories). This file also helps me later--because I can search it to see what I've already sent to a particular target.