Welcome to Chapter 6 of our discussion on the book, On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts.
For an overview of the chapters we’ve covered so far and the direction we’re heading, click here.
I remember exactly where I was sitting and what time of the day it was, the first time I submitted an article to an actual online publication.
It was late at night in South Africa, and immediately a mix of “What did you just do?” and “What if they say ‘yes’?” bubbled up in my stomach. It was a combination of that sense of accomplishment when you actually set out to complete a task and finish it, and that guttural dread that someone is actually going to read what you wrote.
Then the awful waiting period commenced.
Thankfully, with this particular publication, the wait was not unreasonably long. Within two weeks, the editor got back to me — and she said “Yes!”
I coughed in disbelief.
Her compliments about my writing motivated me to send her another article for consideration. She liked the second one even more, and because of the time-sensitive nature of the topic, asked to publish it that same week.
This one editor’s confidence in my ability bolstered my courage.
I began researching other publications like it was my job.
I sat up late each night, clicking link after link, creating spreadsheets to record websites and magazine titles, submission guidelines, topics of interest — you name it.
Before long, I had a decent directory of places where I felt I could submit work. The trouble then became the fact that I actually had to write articles that would meet the guidelines of each unique publication!
I then started a new spreadsheet to record the places I submitted work, the title of the article, the date I sent it in, the date I expected a response, and the response I got when I did hear back.
I’ve since stopped recording in that spreadsheet, but just for kicks (and hopefully to encourage you), I opened that file today to check out my stats. Over the course of several months, I submitted 87 articles to a number of different publications. 48 were accepted; 39 were rejected.
That’s a 55% success rate — hardly anything to write home about! I share this just to give you a realistic picture of what you’re getting into if and when you submit work for publication.
Rejection letters stink, no matter which way you look at it — but we have a choice in how we respond to them.
They can discourage us so much that we give up writing altogether; or they can motivate us to keep trying.
I want to encourage you to choose the latter.
For today’s post, I thought I’d compile a brief list of a few places that accept guest blog post and article submissions:
The fabulous and popular website, (in)courage, opens up for submissions four times a year.
For a full description of guidelines for submitting to (in)courage, click here.
Other places to consider submitting your work (click titles for direct links):
What suggestions can you add to this list? Share in the comments?
Wishing you all of the best as you research potential sites, compose pieces that are compatible with the submission guidelines, and eventually click SEND!!
Link-up topic suggestions:
Write your own blog post or journal entry on one or more of the following topics:
If you haven’t sent any work anywhere yet, what is holding you back? What steps can you take to make it happen? What goals do you need to set? What fears do you need to overcome?
If you have submitted work, how did it feel? What was the waiting process like?
If you’ve received a rejection letter, how did you react? What encouraged you afterwards?
Share a success story about a submission. What was it like to have work accepted by another party?
Explain the process you go through to submit work; how do you record your submissions and responses?
Next week we’re tackling chapters 7 and 8, namely the important topics of PROMOTE and DISCOVER. Click HERE to look ahead to the upcoming link-up suggestions.
Go ahead and share your thoughts on SEND in the comments and/or link-up below!