Submission Panic

Many would-be writers are kept from achieving their goals as a writer because of submission panic.

What is “Submission Panic” ?

It is the terrible confusion and self-doubt that boils up when trying to adhere to different sites’/publications’ guidelines for submitting a story or article or poem.

It sometimes manifests as a paralyzing fear; and sometimes a nagging feeling (like the feeling you get when you are driving somewhere and wonder if you remembered to close the garage door, or turn off the coffee maker).

If you had a similar reaction in High School or College when assigned a paper, you will know the feeling well.

What can I do to get over this?

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Print out the submission guidelines, use it as a checklist for meeting the requirements and then note on the paper: the title of your submission, number of words or pages, and the date you submitted. Then keep a file of these, to be able to check back and see when and where something was submitted. Using the print out as a checklist often alleviates that nagging fear that you forgot to do something in their list of requirements.
  2. Create a rolodex file, and on each card, note the name of the publication, and list the requirements. On the back of the card, you can note when and what you submitted.
  3. Have a “Writing Buddy” who will review the submission guidelines against what you have prepared for submission, to make sure you did everything the way you are supposed to – then note on a calendar: what you submitted, and to what site or publication.

Using the print out as a checklist often alleviates that nagging fear that you forgot to do something in their list of requirements.

“Not meeting submission requirements” is probably the biggest complaint of editors on the receiving end of work by writers. You can jump this hurdle easily with a little planning, and increase the chances of getting your work accepted!

Good luck! And if you have a different way of overcoming “Submission Panic” please share, there is no one “right way” to do any of this – only what works for YOU.

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