Monday, April 22, 2013

Add "Submit" to Your Writing Process

By Stacy S. Jensen

Write. Revise. Repeat.

I repeat this phrase often and embrace it. This year, I’ve felt it’s a puzzle with a missing piece.

I’m inserting a fourth step in my writing process — submit. I’ve been on the treadmill of writing, revising, and repeating for too long.

One would think the submission part would be easy. We write to share our stories. We want to get published. So, why is it so difficult to hit the send button to submit my work to an agent, editor, or magazine?

Fear. There’s always a healthy dose of fear when one can get a rejection letter, or worse, no acknowledgement.

Time. I’ve found time to be my culprit. Through years of reading, talking, and practicing the art of writing whenever I can, I haven’t figured out how to apply this technique to the submission process.

When I write, I don’t have to read interviews or research industry guides for the right word. I just write. The submission process doesn’t feel that easy. There’s research, more research, and the nagging fear I haven’t found the right person, who will like my manuscript. So, I’ve been guilty of write, revise, and repeat with no submissions.

This year, through several associations, a critique group, and submission focused Facebook groups, I’m stretching out of my comfort zone and sending my work out into the universe.

It hasn’t been easy, so far. I’ve stumbled and found myself pushed up against “end of the month” deadlines more than once. It’s not an ideal technique, but for now my “babystep” is to hit send on those query letters to see what happens.

By the end of the year, I hope to look back and see the puzzle together — Write. Revise. Repeat. Submit.

Do you have a submission strategy for your work?

About the Author: StacyS. Jensen worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for two decades. Today, she writes picture books and revises a memoir manuscript. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and toddler.


  1. So true-- sometimes it's easy (the perfectionist in us?) to get stuck on the revision phase, tweaking ad infinitum, and be afraid to submit. Good "S" word to remember!

    1. I find the research for the right agent to be my stumbling point. But, I'm working on that this year.

  2. This is a very good phase to remember!

  3. Haha! It's almost like we planned this. I love your article :)

    1. Yes! Following through with all those conference requests to "send it" are important too. Thanks again DeAnna for your help at conference.

  4. Nice graphics! Thanks for the insight. I am in the revise stage, going back to write. Would be good to wrap it up with "submit."

  5. I haven't submitted anything in a long time. I haven't felt like what I wrote good enough to submit so I've been guilty of revision too long. Now, I think I'm ready. Now for the research part of the equation. There's where I may fall down.

    So glad you're back, Stacy.


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