Runner Crouching at Starting LineLast week I talked about sending out your manuscript too soon and in the classes I teach where we talk about submitting, I have a checklist that I share to help writers decide when their manuscripts are ready to send out and it’s something I use myself (though more automatically).

Knowing (as much as is possible), when you’ve done all you can and your manuscript is ready to go out is a good question and one we need to ask and answer. But there’s another question I raise in my classes: Are you, yourself, ready for what happens once you start submitting?

Gauging Your Own Readiness

  • Have you thought about how you will feel and what you will do if you receive a rejection? Do you have strategies for moving forward? Some strategies I have are:
    • having a list of publishers/agents and going immediately to the next one on the list
    • throwing myself into a new project I’m passionate about
  • What will you do if it’s accepted? Do you have an understanding of the industry? Are you ready to read and respond to a contract? Even if you have an agent, it’s helpful to know what to expect.
  • Are you ready to accept feedback from an editor and revise those things you agree need revising?
  • Have you thought about how you will present yourself to the world as an author? Blog/website/social networking/business cards, etc.

There are lots of other questions we can ask (and I do in my classes), but these will get you started. Submitting can be an emotionally draining process, but it can also be stimulating because it shows you have taken the next step, that you are committed to getting your piece published. Celebrate this readiness!

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