Friday, November 10, 2006

Submission blues

There is something wrenching about putting together a submission package for something you have written. Fighting the urge to edit one more time or get one more opinion on your story, you procrastinate and hem-haw around. It isn't the rejection you fear, although that is always waiting in the back of a shadowed corner of your mind next to the unforgiving editor, but success. What if they accept your book or story? What if they publish you? What if it's a success and you are expected to follow that up with more success? What if...? The questions are endless and are guaranteed to keep you from sending it off into the cyber world or putting on the stamps and handing it to the mailman.

It is easy to sit back and write stories and articles and books and keep them in the drawer awaiting one more editing pass, but it's all a matter of what you want to get out of the process. If you want publication you are going to have to grit your teeth and send your work out into the world. If you'd rather stack the pages and disks in a trunk in the attic or a cabinet in a corner and wait for someone to discover you after you're dead, then go for it. Not everyone gets to be Emily Dickinson.

It all comes down to making choices. I just made one. I sent another finished book that I'd like to edit "one more time" out into the ether to a publisher interested in the story. For some reason, for me it is more difficult with full length works I've written than for books I've ghostwritten for someone else, i guess because it's my butt on the line.

Every journey begins with a choice and a step. I took that step tonight. What about you? What choice will you make and when will you ignore the sarcastic, snide voice of your internal editor and take that first step?

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