Going along with writing fears and insecurity, we have submission. Oh, submission. Perhaps the scariest and most disheartening of all steps of the writing process. You’ve written a story, you’ve edited and polished, and finally you’re ready to let it loose into the world to find its way.
Well. Some of us never get there.
You see, submission is scary because of two reasons. 1) You may get rejected. 2) You may get accepted.
Writing has a strange dichotomy to it. On one hand, we tend to be highly critical of our own works, but on some level we also feel like we’re brilliant. So rejection hurts the latter – sometimes, especially if you have something you’re sending out and sending out and not getting any bites on, you begin to wonder if you’re not so brilliant as you thought, and oh, maybe you suck and everyone’s just been too nice to tell you all these years.
And it does hurt, to send out something you’ve spent a good amount of blood, sweat, and tears on just to get a collection of form rejections.
But I’ve found writers fear success almost as much. When we’re not secretly thinking we’re brilliant, we tend to think that we’re hacks and any and all successes up to this point have been some sort of fluke. And we tend to worry that someday someone is going to figure out that we’re hacks and call us out on it. And every time something is published, it just affords more people to see it and possibly be that one person who realizes that we’re a giant fraud.
So writers sit on stories, revising and revising way past having good reason to revise, or even just stuffing stories in drawers to rot, because they’re afraid to send them out.
Friends. I know it’s stressful. But I’m here to tell you to let them go. Send them out. As long as you’ve edited and done your research so you’re sending things to appropriate markets, no one’s going to laugh at you. Send them out. Everything will be okay. If nothing else, it’s good practice. It will teach you things about your writing. It will teach you things about yourself.
And if this is a career you want – it’s something you’re going to have to do.