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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Submission, Submission, Submission

When creating a submission, it's always tempting to see it as the gateway to a vast new career. This is the one, this will push me out into the mainstream, this is my first step towards success. No matter how many stories you hear about other authors who had to work and push to get their writing recognised, trying upwards of dozens of agents and publishers before finally getting that big break, you think that you'll be different.

That was what dragged me down for a long time, and kept me from doing my job properly as a writer starting from the ground up. I was treating the entire business in a stupidly blasé way, expecting success to be thrown at me because my work was so good. Oh how wrong I was. I'm at upwards of thirty different agents tried or retried, and I'm still pushing forward. Trying both conventional and self-driven publishing forms, I've learned that hard way not to treat anything as a sure thing.

Now there are hundreds of opinions on this matter, and I'm only adding to the pile with my own experience on how to do it and how to preserve my spirit while doing it. You have to distance yourself from it, examine your work and ensure that it could be a suitable debut for you. You must check and recheck your covering letter/email. You must triple-check your submission to ensure that the chapters selected both have good pacing and no spelling or grammar errors beyond what might be expected of a first-time author. Also, submissions are very draining even when you're going about it in a business-like manner, as you're submitting your own work to criticism and scrutiny by a complete stranger.

If the stars align correctly, then you can find yourself throwing out a quality submission with little effort and relative ease. But these are exceptions. In general, you have to go through a laborious process of picking agents, preparing your submission(s), and waiting several weeks to months for a response. And at the end, you'll most likely see a polite rejection. But don't let that stop you! Never, ever give up! That's what I've learnt, and it's what I'm sticking to. As an author, I'm hardened to the pains and troubles of submitting through official channels. As a writer, I will not be beaten!

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