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Monday, 12 February 2018

Return to Submitting

I know, the title looks like a cheesy sequel. And that's the irony; it is. It's been some little time since I've been doing submissions on a regular basis. This isn't due to nerves, but due to the holiday season. Lasting from December through to January, it's pretty much a dead time for anyone submitting to publishing houses and agents. And it's been difficult in several ways.

So what's difficult about this? Well, I'm brought face-to-face with how much my style's changed. You think "what the heck were you thinking when you wrote that" or "that's never going to get me published". You know, the usual stuff. The stuff anxiety attacks are made of. But the thing about me is that, under the pessimism and habit of getting into absolute tizzies at the drop of a hat, I'm generally quite optimistic and determined in my goals. I've chosen to do all I can to become a writer, have several avenues to follow, and won't give up just because my last few attempts weren't as good as they could be.

On top of that, the work  I'm submitting is new. My adventure story, built on facts and history rather than the crutches of magic and science fiction. It's something that's got appeal, but it's also something that may be a hard sell as I'm a pretty-much unknown name and this isn't some established blockbuster or macho adventure; it's a woman's slightly whimsical first-person journey with occasional asides to deconstruct the genre and its absurd pitfalls. I've already sent one submission off, and plan more. I've also sent a submission for a non-fiction book, yet another first for which I'm not holding out massive hopes. But that's the point; you try your best and try multiple avenues. I've even got some plans for one of my works that's in publishable form but hasn't been taken up yet - something I wouldn't have dreamed of a year or so ago. If nothing comes back by February, I'll feel no qualms about polishing it up and sending it out.

So what's this? What am I doing? Well, I'm talking. It's an outlet I can't let slip. It stops me from becoming a completely closed system, which is the worst thing a writer can be. Close yourself off, whether from talking about your work or from the work of others, and you handicap yourself to the point of crippling your chances. You can't do stuff in total vacuum. So here I am, talking. And it's a huge relief, as well as an act of bravery as I'm exposing my own weaknesses. And if there're any mistakes I didn't pick up before this got published, there's a living example for you. :)

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