How can a person say “no” to something called a Submit-O-Rama? That, my friends, is just too creative to dismiss! Plus, don’t we all need a kick in the tookus once in a while to get that writing off our computers and out into the real world? Or is that just me?
Thanks to Khara House’s Submit-O-Rama challenge in which writers pledged to submit their work each week during October, I was pushed out into the submitting hemisphere. With various levels of commitment offered, I could choose to send out writing daily, making me an uber challenger. Or I could be an alpha dog by submitting to 26 different mags from each letter of the alphabet. Because of my full-time job and my submit-o-phobia, I went for the “choose your own rules” level, sending out two pieces a week. I buddied up to my favorite resource, Duotrope, to catch the cool places to send my writing. Khara also provided fodder on her blog.
Although I love poetry, I am more confident in writing fiction. Perhaps I’m less panicky about my fic because I often write on two sites, 6S and Thinking Ten. Both places offer a speedy warm-up for the day with no cost, and you get helpful comments from a great community. Thanks to those communities, their advice, and my husband’s support, I have realized that “nobody puts Baby in the corner!”
The only “problem” I ran into was that I found myself writing new material to send to each place in my desire to meet the publication’s specified theme or topic of the month. Good news: I still have plenty of pieces to send out elsewhere. Bad news: the ones I sent probably didn’t get the editing they deserved. Personally though, I’ve found the longer I hold on to something the more I criticize it and not like it, and honestly, that’s one thing I’ve learned in life as in writing: you have to know yourself.
Because I know I doubt myself, sometimes I just have to let it fly off the paper and out the door immediately. I also know that dialogue and voice are my strengths so I search for those requested themes first. As a writer, you should do what’s best for you and leave your insecurities on the back burner till you ship the pieces out. Then you can eat that carton of ice cream and hyperventilate on the couch.
Just remember that if one editor out there thinks your material is writing roadkill, it won’t be the last one. (Sorry, let me rephrase that: there’s always someone else to try.)
For me, we’ve hit November and now it’s just a matter of waiting, and waiting some more, to see if I’m writing roadkill (aka I didn’t crack into their wheelhouse) or if something struck a chord with the editors. And hey, we all have those moments where we embarrassingly say, “I carried a watermelon” – ours just happen on paper. So our job is to find the Johnny Castles who love us and our work!
Did you participate in the October Submit-O-Rama? Do you have a Johnny Castle success story from participating? Let’s hear it! Or if you still want to give it a shot, it’s not too late. Just merengue on over to Khara’s blog for the inside scoop.
Jack of all trades, Bolton Carley put on her fiction hat to bring you this article. But don’t worry, she kept her humorous thug stocking cap on, too! You can find her verse novella, Hello, Summer Vacay! on Amazon.