The title of this post seems to be a bit of a catch-22 doesn’t it? An even bigger question might be, “What the heck are you talking about exactly?”
From a writing perspective it simply means this: you cannot get published if you don’t have the confidence in you work to submit it. Now, submitting a story doesn’t guarantee your work will be picked up. Far from it. Chances are extremely good that you will get rejections.
It is one of the downsides to being a writer.
Still, sending your stories and working to improve your craft will pay dividends. Take me for example. I’ve been submitting my work for several years without success. The rejections hurt and sometimes made me doubt my abilities but I kept going.
A few months ago, I wrote a story that I quite liked (a short story) and submitted it to a contest. It didn’t make the cut. I ran that story past some friends asking for their opinions about it. They pointed out a couple things that I promptly reworked.
I submitted the story again and it was accepted. My first ever sale.
It was like the sun coming out for me. I suddenly realized that my work was good enough to be accepted. It totally changed the way I approached my writing. Now, instead of hoping I can find a market for my writing, I’m going it expecting that I will (eventually) find a place for it.
That might be overly optimistic, but it has meant a increase in my productivity. It has also made me less concerned about asking for critiques and it means when I have a story rejected I don’t hesitate to send it out again. It has also got me actively searching for more opportunities to write and send out stories.
It’s win all around.
There is one more benefit too. Prior to my first publication there were magazines I felt might be out of my league. I realize now that they’re only out of my league if I let them be. It’s time to shoot for the stars!
As I mentioned, I had my first sale a little while ago. That was to Sorcerous Signals e-magazine and Mystic Signals print magazine. Yesterday I sent in the contract for my second sale, this time to Flying Island Press’ Flagship e-magazine.
The first story will be available to read in August. The second one will be available next month. I will have links on this site for both when they’re available.
I’m also hard at work revising my YA novel. I think I’m on the right track and it feels awesome.
I hope you all are doing well and your writing is moving forward.