My Attitude About Submissions

Mar 11, 2010

I’m gearing up to send in my most recent short story to some science fiction magazines. I’m excited, and nervous, as I haven’t submitted anything in a while. As a writer trying to break into the publishing arena, I generally have to subscribe to the principle of double-think when I submit my work. Just as a safety measure.

In the book 1984, double-think is the principle of holding two contrasting ideas in your mind at the same time and believing them both whole-heartedly.

For example, whenever I’m readying a piece for submission, I have written and edited and rewritten and gotten critiques and rewritten again. In order to be brave enough to send my baby out into the cold, calculating publishing world, I have to stare at it and think, “This is possibly the best piece of literature ever written in the history of the world.”

However, to protect myself from the crushing disappointment of rejection, I am simultaneously thinking, “This is such trash. I can’t believe I’m going to send it out. No one would ever publish this.”

Of course, with this attitude rejections are still disappointing (though not crushingly so). Then again, despite convincing myself I’m practically a Nobel laureate, acceptances are still just as thrilling. I guess it’s kind of a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” attitude.

So what’s your philosophy when you submit your work?


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