August IWSG: Pitfalls
The Insecure Writers Support Group is brought to you by founder Alex J Cavanaugh. This month Alex has the help of these co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery! Sign up here at the IWSG website.
Question of the month is (if you chose to use it): What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?
When I read the question, the word pitfalls stood out.
I’ve not been published since the mid 1980’s (for pay), but it could be due to that I’m not submitting my short stories. Wait, I've made a buck or two on my self-published book. So there is that. Submitting your work is important.
But what pitfalls?
Two things come to mind:
1. Not Submitting
You will not be published unless you write (and finish), polish (by editing) and submit your story to market(s). Then rinse and repeat.
I read recently that you need to get your work out there IF your goal is to be published. Well duh, that's not a surprise. If you want your stories (or any craft that you love to do) to only be seen by you then fine, keep it hidden. If you want others to read your work, then first believe in what you produce. Write and finish. Polish. Submit.
Whatever we "do" in life will probably be judged by someone. Those judges could be trolls (internet idiots) or reviewers (with negative and positive critiques), but someone will judge your work (and maybe you as a person). Be ready for this! There will be people who will judge your craft with admiration, but someone else might rip you and your work to the hills and back.
Do you paint canvases of beauty? Someone will judge your work. Do you build furniture? Someone will judge your pieces. You say that you write poetry? Take photographs? SOMEONE will judge what you produce.
It’s a fact of life and it’s okay. You might even learn something in this painful process.
You’ve heard the saying, no pain, no gain? You can closet your work and feel safe from what others will say, but I promise there will be at least one person out there that will recognize the beauty of your craft and be entertained. This, my friends, is satisfying. Yes, someone might gift you with their opinion! Maybe it will be a happy day of love and admiration or it might be critical and cut your very soul. Do not lose heart as you walk through this confusion of love and hate concerning your masterpiece. Instead, focus on your craft because stories must be told.
Push aside your fears and write, finish, polish and submit your craft. Submit I tell you!