New here and feeling a bit paralyzed
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I'm new to the She Writes community but not new to writing. I've been writing in some form or another for the past 25 years but was never motivated to submit anything until recently. Now I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the choices involved in my next step. First, I have a lot of pieces that I'd like to have published. I've been involved in a writing group for quite some time so many of my essays have been re-written and polished. I don't have a favorite so I'm having a hard time focusing on choosing one or two to submit to the appropriate magazine or journal. Trying to learn about what might be appropriate for my style and topic of essay also has me a bit stuck.


And one final problem is that I'm not sure whether I want to be submitting essays at all. I've got enough material about one topic that I may want to make it a book. But the work involved in getting a book deal makes me want to go fetal in the corner.


I know I just need to breathe and take it one baby step at a time. Which I have tried. I have submitted one essay to a few different places. It was rejected two of the places and no word yet on the third. The rejection isn't what turns me off as much as not knowing what step to take next. Submit the same essay again? But where? Try a new essay? Same place? Different place? Is it better to aim high in the beginning or set more realistic goals? I don't want to sell myself short but I don't want burn out on rejections either.


I really just want someone to hold my hand, tell me it's going to be okay... and then offer me a book deal ;-)


Anyone been here? Felt this way? What helped you the most?

  • I, too, am feeling overwhelmed by all the information out there. I report and write for a living, but I just recently decided that I wanted to truly commit to my writing. It's time.

    I don't know what my next step should be. I have a large collection of writing, but I don't know what to do with it. I don't know if what I have is at the submission stage.

    I started a blog, and that has given me a deadline and a sense of responsibility, and it has helped me to sharpen some of the writing I've done into blog posts. But I will be looking for help on She Writes! I don't think I've figured out how it all works yet.

  • Hi, I am new to She Writes but not to writing.Your piece could have been written by me. I have been in a group too, submitted a couple of things, may stick with essays but may do a book...I do not have any advice for you but would be interested in staying in touch throughout the process.

    I would add that I have done nothing within She writes because i find the whole blog overwhelming and hard to understand. Hopefully that is only my newby perspective. I plan to take some time to get to know the site better.

  • Mindy -

    Submit.  Submit.  Submit.  I have battled with trying to decide do I submit the same short story?  Do I rewrite?  Turn to a different one?  And the answer is that there are so many submissions that editors have their choice and you have to cast a wide net.  I got myself a notebook and set up a tracking sheet and I try to send out one of my stories each morning.  I've been doing that since July and no luck yet.  My skin is getting thicker by the day and I know if I keep trying it will happen but with three rejections this week alone -- and it's only Wednesday! -- it's tough going.  I write short stories and am now just going to try an essay, and maybe essays are easier to place, but somehow I doubt it.

    I have written a book.  I sent out 73 queries and now 3 agents are considering it.  One of the hardest things for me is that I really love writing but not the selling. 

    So, get yourself a list of mags and just start putting your stuff out there.  Don't over-think the submission process.  JUST DO IT!

    You just have to believe it will happen.  So many famous authors have their rejection stories, but the only way they finally made it was to submit it.

    Hope this helps and good luck!