Submission is when you and your agent agree that your novel is in the best shape possible for editors to brood over its lovely pages. It's also a lot like being at a high school dance wishing the cute guy on the other side of the gym would notice you.
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Then the calendar year turned.
Um...all right. Let's buckle down and send out another story.
Then more rejections came.
Then more months passed.
See the pattern?
Each path to publication is different. Mine feels like it's uphill and in the dark. And even though I realize my path may not end with a book deal, I keep moving forward—mostly because I'm a sucker for a happy ending.
Incredibly, after all this time, whenever the phone rings my first thought is that @rivetingrosie is calling with amazing news!
I still hit emotional potholes of doubt along the way. I've posted about it here, and here. But I've learned a valuable lesson while being on submission these many eons—It doesn't matter if you think you'll never be published or if you're the next J.K. Rowling...rejections still roll in.
And I've discovered it's more fun to dream while I wait.
Here are the top five things that help me survive submission.
1. Instead of waiting for a book deal to celebrate, treat yourself each time you get a rejection. It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate, just enough to make you smile.
2. When you're reading the latest deals in Publishers Marketplace, remember all of those success stories were years in the making. Did you hear that? YEARS.
3. Keep writing. The best decision I recently made was to enter a short story contest on @GeekChic42's website. Creating a story with a beginning, middle, and end in less than 1000 words, was an excellent exercise. Also, I discovered I love making book covers and trailers.
4. Step away from the computer. Engage in the life around you. Family and friends are the best balm after a rejection and they're a reminder your happiness shouldn't only be determined by your writing successes.
5. Cupcakes. See number 1.
And here is the bonus. DREAM BIG!
So hold the shampoo bottle while reciting your Oscar speech for 'Best Screen Play' in the shower. Create a Pinterest board with actors who will star in the movie adaptation of your book. Smile secretly when the guy at Starbucks looks exactly like your MC's love interest. And always, ALWAYS pick up the lucky penny you see on the sidewalk.
Consider New Radicals, "You Get What You Give", substitute 'music' with 'stories' you've got the perfect writer's anthem.
What are some tips that help you through submission?
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