Working Towards Publication
Putting it out there
When you get into this business of writing, people always talk about how difficult it is to get published. Truth be told, this is a conversation that happens all around you before you even begin to so much as think about trying to get some writing published. So it’s not as though you go into things blind to the challenges ahead. Yet, for all that people go on about the difficulties – the countless rejections that leave you heartbroken (if you’re anything like me anyway), the constant battle to get your work in front of someone willing to give it some time to be read, the vicious catch-22 where you need to be published to have some work looked at, but you can’t get work published if no one will look at it. It’s an industry that almost seems as though it has been designed to be especially difficult. Which, in a way, makes a certain kind of sense, because surely readers what to have quality writing to read.
Yet what no one really seems to talk about, at least not so far that I’ve seen, is just how incredibly daunting it actually is to put your work out there. Taking the steps to actually hit send on an email submission, or pop a parcel into the post to send it on its way to an editor who makes the choice on whether its worthy enough of being published is perhaps the scariest part of this whole process. Writing is such a personal act. You pour your heart, certainly your thoughts, hopes, opinions, and dreams, out of yourself and onto the page in a way that makes you quite vulnerable, and then you send it to someone who has the power to say their publication wants it or not, with a silent disclaimer that says ‘Here’s my soul, please try not to tread too heavily upon it.’
When a rejection rolls around, you have to remind yourself that perhaps their readers just read a story like that, or perhaps their readers aren’t really your target audience, or perhaps the mood of the piece just didn’t suit the publication you sent it out to (even though, if you’ve done your research, you should really know all of those things before you send the original pitch or submission in the first place, but that’s another story). Basically though, you have to tell yourself a story to make it hurt just a little bit less. Perhaps I will develop a thicker skin as time goes on, perhaps I will get to a point where rejections don’t hurt so much – people certainly tell me that will happen. I can honestly say that I hope it doesn’t, because if it stops hurting, then perhaps that would mean I’ve stopped caring about the writing and that’s not something I’m willing to give up.