The only thing we have to fear is not submitting
Submitting Your Story
Submission. It can seem like the most frightening thing. You imagine someone going through that manuscript, the one you painstakingly pieced together, metaphors, dialogue, narrative structure, and all.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Yes, you might get rejected. In fact, it’s inevitable. I’ve been there. I’ve seen form rejections, some positive ones that speak to the strengths of my stories or suggest how to make them stronger. I’ve seen rejections that call my work “nothing special.” Seriously.
But it’s a step. And when you get your first acceptance, it’s a feeling you’ll never forget. That’s another step, a validation of your skills.
My First Acceptance
I still remember my first acceptance. It was April 12, 2013. 11:50 am. I was going up the escalator to catch a movie at a downtown theatre in Boise. I don’t remember the wording, to be honest, but I do remember that sense of exuberance after a litany of rejections. I remember feeling that I’d broken into the literary world, that I’d achieved something that seemed impossible. I felt like the guy who plies himself with champagne and caviar.
I used my school notebook’s back cover, the empty blank spaces in the daily newspaper, used gift wrappers or old magazine pages.
So, how do you deal with the fear and take that step forward?
I think of submission as leaving a mark. Even when you get rejected, the act of submission itself is something powerful. It’s a testament to the work you put in. The mere act reveals effort and initiative. You’re a writer, and not simply someone who bloviates about wanting to be a writer over a cappuccino.
You might also make a game of the rejections. I’ve heard of people who aspire to get a hundred, and people who post said rejections on their walls. You might shoot for a hundred, or even fifty. You might make a game of getting rejected by top-tier journals like the New Yorker or the Missouri Review.
But above all, remind yourself that somewhere else, there’s another author who’s going through the exact same process. Enduring the same problems. By becoming a part of writer’s groups, whether online or in person, you can foster connections and learn from your peers. Knowing that others are enduring the pain, the waiting, the bewilderment, and everything in between can be a great motivator. And you might just take some tips from them. See what they do too. Author’s note: any coping method involving taking shot after shot should probably be avoided. You’ll not only have a hangover, but you’ll be doubly stressed!
As FDR said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I’d tweak that and say, “the only thing we have to fear is not submitting and wondering what if.”
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His stories, “Soon,” “How To Be A Good Episcopalian,” “Tales From A Communion Line,” and “Community Time,” were nominated for Pushcarts. Yash’s work has been published in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and Ariel Chart, among others.
“Elegy of a Junkyard Queen,” Literary (Short Story)
“Luck,” Literary (Short Story)
Winter—An End and a Promise
“Lost Credit,” Literary (Short Story)
“One Minute,” Literary (Short Story
Summer—When Doors Open
“Histories,” Literary (Short Story
It’s hard to believe, after all our hard work, Deceit, our sixth book, will be available to you in e-book and paperback.
AND… We are having a party, drum roll please… on November 7th, at 9am MST, you are cordially invited to join us live on Zoom. You’ll be able to chat with us… or maybe just your favorite author. Some of us might read from our stories to let you have a peek at the tale they are sharing with the world.
If you click on the button below, and sign up, you’ll be registered to attend. Zoom will send you a confirmation link to the party.
You won’t want to miss this… your registration automatically put your name in the drawings we’ll have. That’s why we need everyone to register, we want you to have a chance at winning a paperback copy of Deceit.
Feel free to share this invitation with any of your friends or family….
See you on Tuesday!