Now that I’ve published the findings of The Breakdown on the Cost-Benefit Chart of ways to Improve your Writing the inevitable result is the reflection: Am I doing these things? Well … yes and no. I read in my genre, I read about writing, I blog, I comment on blogs, I do social media. But I don’t submit my work nearly enough. Not nearly.
We’re talking … six submissions this year so far.
I was at yoga this morning, in a break between poses. I was doing workout 14 of the 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge. And I thought: you’ll do yoga for 30 days in a row, but what about submitting your writing 30 days in a row?
Wow, the idea has merit! What if I submitted that much work? What would that look like?
Well … I’d have to identify which work is ready to submit, for one thing. Right now I have the following finished work:
- Almost 40, a travel memoir
- Lotus Eaters, a YA murder mystery
- An essay on how to pay for your kids’ college education
- An essay on my ex-husband marrying his third wife
- A literary humor piece that I could submit, but I feel it isn’t quite funny enough yet.
- A reflection on escaping from Houston during Hurricane Harvey
OMG my head begins to pound. In order to submit full length book manuscripts, you have to research agents. Otherwise, the agent will generally just blow you off, and, why shouldn’t they, you don’t know who they are, you’re like a door to door salesman. Writing queries with agent research is work, hard work.
It’s easier to submit the short pieces, which are good essays, by and large, but its hard to figure out who would want them. And it’s depressing to send them out to the wrong markets, it seems like sending your kids out into a blizzard in Bermuda shorts (that metaphor was stolen whole cloth from Steven King, BTW); it’s just cruel. Especially if you can’t stand rejection. Even more than most writers. That’s me.
But then, I go back into YogaMind. YogaMind says ‘do it anyway. Do it even if it’s uncomfortable. Do it because it’s the right thing to do. Do it because you can and you know the odds are that if you keep doing it, something is going to change for the better, and if you don’t …
Thank you YogaMind. The 30 submissions in 30 days challenge is on, starting today. And if on some days I just show up, and don’t do a very good job, and just get something off to somebody, somehow, well, like with yoga, maintaining the momentum will still be the thing.
I”ll check back periodically and tell you how it’s going.