PDA

View Full Version : Why won't you submit?



sheadakota
02-05-2010, 05:16 PM
I have been a member of several writng forums over the years other than AW- some have been review sites and I have seen many of the people I have had the pleasure of critting go on to get their book (s) published. It has been wonderful to witness.

However I have also seen writers who had fantastic work- truly talented people who are not published.

Why?

its not because they can't find an agent/publisher- it is because they have either not finished their book- they are constantly tinkering- always in edit mode and going back to that first chapter/paragraph/ sentence and cannot move on!

OR they have finished but are so paralyzed by fear of rejection/notoriety that they never send out that fantastic query letter.
These people are, imo, wayyyy better writers than me and again IMO- deserved t be published, but they aren't- I just want to shake them or hit send for them! but I can't- anyone know anyone like this? or are you someone like this? Just curious as to your reason why you won't submit- not being judgemental just curious. Discuss.

StoryG27
02-05-2010, 05:22 PM
I know someone who fits your description. I think it is because they don't see their work as others do; they see the flaws, have little confidence, and don't think it is worthy of publication. Sort of like those people with body image disorders, they just can't see it for the beauty it is.

sheadakota
02-05-2010, 05:27 PM
I know someone who fits your description. I think it is because they don't see their work as others do; they see the flaws, have little confidence, and don't think it is worthy of publication. Sort of like those people with body image disorders, they just can't see it for the beauty it is.
I agree and its not false modesty, they honestly see flaws that are not there- is it insecurity? I don't know the asnwer to that.

seun
02-05-2010, 05:57 PM
The only reason I wouldn't submit to is to agents who aren't open to email subs. The process is slow enough as it is without having to deal with Royal sodding Mail.

Saying that, I'm getting nowhere with email subs so I may have to rethink my plan.

Polenth
02-05-2010, 06:17 PM
I didn't write to submit for ages, because I knew I was terrible at writing as a child. Partly I think I brought into the idea that you had to have a natural way with language to be a writer. Partly I didn't realise I'd improved.

Friends telling me they liked my writing didn't work, because friends will say it's great regardless. I wasn't posting anything that strangers would comment on (mainly roleplaying stories, so they only interested those in the roleplay).

It was taking part in NaNoWriMo that changed my mind, as I was directly comparing my writing to other writers. I also got feedback on my extract from people who didn't know me. I didn't join AW or take part in the writing community until that point, so to people here, I've always been submitting stuff. It's not how I started out though.

Alpha Echo
02-05-2010, 06:20 PM
I don't know. I have submitted. But I go through periods of time when I don't. Right now, for example, I should be resubmitting what I finished a year ago. I've submitted it once to at least 20 different agents, and out of the 20 I only got one request for a partial. It's depressing.

DeleyanLee
02-05-2010, 06:34 PM
I haven't finished a book in nigh unto 10 years now, which is why I haven't submitted much. I have had a novella or two that I've submitted a few places then pulled.

When I do have something to submit again, I'm not positive that I'll do it for several reasons.

1. Do I think I did a good enough job getting the story into words to submit it?

2. If this sells and sells well, is this a vein of writing I want to continue with in the future or was this something I was just playing with?

3. Do I feel comfortable enough in my process to shift gears into a career mode?

If the answers to all questions are yes, then I'll submit. If not, then I'll shelve the project. I pulled the novellas because they weren't a genre I wanted to continue writing if they sold.

CaroGirl
02-05-2010, 06:48 PM
My current excuse is time. I'd rather spend my limited time writing than spend it researching markets, writing and personalizing query letters, putting together submission packages, and so on. It takes sooo much time and energy. A lot of that energy ends up emotional when I send it and then keep checking the mail and my in box. And the emotion ends up negative when it's a rejection, especially a rejection on a full or partial. Not sure it outweighs the elation of a request for material, especially when that hasn't translated into an offer.

Anyway, that's me.

icerose
02-05-2010, 06:51 PM
I know someone like this, they are completely paranoid that someone will steal their work so they won't send it anywhere but get completely pissed off and jealous if anyone accomplishes anything because she's the one who deserves it.

I yelled at her and told her if she wasn't ever going to put her work out there, then no, she doesn't deserve it and she's a lousy person for putting people down for their accomplishments and hard work. I haven't heard from her since and it's just as well, I wanted to strangle her because she was always the victim.

Parametric
02-05-2010, 06:56 PM
Nothing worth submitting. :)

Calla Lily
02-05-2010, 07:01 PM
*readies Spatula o' Doom for Para*

Parametric
02-05-2010, 07:06 PM
*readies Spatula o' Doom for Para*

:tongue Seriously, though. A good first draft is not worth submitting. A tolerable second draft is not worth submitting.

Topaz044
02-05-2010, 08:49 PM
Before I got published, it took me a while to realize that you could submit queries to more than one place.

Phaeal
02-05-2010, 11:30 PM
My rule is to resub a rejection the same day. That way I keep everything subbable in submission at all times, and I keep my rejection-toughened skin from softening up again. ;)

Oh, and an acceptance sneaks in once and a while, too. It's the old lottery truism: Can't win if you don't play.

HighDesertBrat
02-06-2010, 12:06 AM
I know a few people who don't submit for more complicated reasons than not thinking their work is good enough. Even if they think their work isn't good enough, they don't want the confirmation it isn't. Or they think it is good enough, and they don't want an agent/publisher to burst that bubble.

Something along the lines of, "If I keep my writing to myself, I can be a good, unpublished writer. If I send it out and no one wants it, I'll be a bad, rejected writer."

Jamesaritchie
02-06-2010, 12:48 AM
The only reason I wouldn't submit to is to agents who aren't open to email subs. The process is slow enough as it is without having to deal with Royal sodding Mail.

Saying that, I'm getting nowhere with email subs so I may have to rethink my plan.


You're slowing yourself waaayyyy down by limiting submissions to agents who only want e-mail. Two days each way really bothers you when you may have to wait six months to hear back from an e-mail agent?

kuwisdelu
02-06-2010, 01:20 AM
Well. I do submit.

It's just that I should submit more.

But I'm lazy and researching markets makes my brain hurt.

gothicangel
02-06-2010, 01:29 AM
The novel isn't ready yet. So maybe that makes me paranoid that it isn't good enough?

I'm working on a query for an article, does that count?

blacbird
02-06-2010, 01:31 AM
I stopped submitting two years ago because, for many many years, nothing ever got accepted anywhere. Most of the time, I didn't even get my SASEs back.

caw

ishtar'sgate
02-06-2010, 07:37 AM
anyone know anyone like this? or are you someone like this? Just curious as to your reason why you won't submit- not being judgemental just curious. Discuss.
Yes, I've run across a few, both in creative writing classes and on forums. I think some simply don't believe they have what it takes - which is nuts - and the others can't finish what they start. It's too bad. We're missing out on some really talented people.

Ken
02-06-2010, 08:29 AM
... my own tactic has always been to place quality over quantity. So there are often fairly long stretches of time where I submit nothing. During those periods of hibernation, though, I am working on improving my writing. That way when I go back to sub'ing, again, I am in a better position to get published. So, to me, as long as one is working on improving there's nothing wrong with them not sub'ing, so long as they do ultimately plan to.

Then, again, there's also a lot to be said for sub'ing regularly, without any lapses, as evidenced by some members here who have sent out 150 queries that were rejected only to have their 151st one accepted.

Always numerous ways to achieve an objective. Find one that works best for you.

C.bronco
02-06-2010, 08:35 AM
I'm too busy trying to get my life in order; I'll get back to it.

dgrintalis
02-06-2010, 10:35 AM
I know someone (not on this forum) who sent out one query, got a rejection, and stopped subbing.

kurzon
02-06-2010, 04:38 PM
I occasionally submit, and then go for years without submitting*. The submission process distracts me from writing, and tends to be emotionally absorbing. I'm generally happier writing than trying to get published, but occasionally I build up some impetus and make an effort for a month or two.

*Complicated by an ongoing submission which worked its way up through a publisher's slush pile, and has been in the editor's "to read" pile for, literally, years.

Devil Ledbetter
02-06-2010, 05:23 PM
My current excuse is time. I'd rather spend my limited time writing than spend it researching markets, writing and personalizing query letters, putting together submission packages, and so on. It takes sooo much time and energy. A lot of that energy ends up emotional when I send it and then keep checking the mail and my in box. And the emotion ends up negative when it's a rejection, especially a rejection on a full or partial. Not sure it outweighs the elation of a request for material, especially when that hasn't translated into an offer.

Anyway, that's me.Me too, Caro. My book is good but it doesn't fit into any tidy genre niches. I've only queried 5 times, had a request for a full once. I love storytelling, writing and editing but I hate the submission process. To me it's The Rejection Process.

I have niggling doubts about the story arc. Even though it's long since been polished to a high gloss, something keeps telling me to start it at the beginning of the second act, then work the important stuff in from the first act so it's not in the straight linear timeline that I have now. This would be a huge project, and I'm spending what little writing time I have re-writing my Nano book. But so many betas have told me they loved the whole thing, but from the second act forward they literally couldn't put it down, stayed up all night reading it, etc. This rewrite idea is hard for me to let go of.

So yes, I'm totally guilty of letting a good book languish for the very reasons the OP states.

raburrell
02-06-2010, 05:29 PM
Two things, for me. One, I'll freely admit, is that I'm a wimp. I don't have that many rejections, but every time one comes in, the first thing I do is hit the little 'x' in the upper right corner of whatever I'm writing at the time & can't re-open for a day at least. Pathetic, but... yeah.

The second is that it just ain't ready yet. I have some beta readers who love the story the way it is, others who've pointed out things I need to fix. And at present, I'm too close to it to do so properly. So, it's sitting unsubmitted until my brain decides to cooperate.

Rhoda Nightingale
02-07-2010, 12:54 AM
Just one simple reason: Not done yet. I write real slow. And I'd like to have more than one manuscript on hand for that time when, once I do get around to submitting and hopefully land an agent/publisher, I'll have Novel 2 ready to throw in the can. Because working on a deadline outright terrifies me.

Sarashay
02-07-2010, 11:16 PM
Because nobody on earth other than myself has read the thing, and I'd like at least some kind of feedback from other people before I ship the thing out.

jodiodi
02-08-2010, 05:37 AM
I've submitted and been rejected so much, I just gave up. If my best story ideas, executed as well as I can posibly do it, weren't good enough, I have nothing left.

Besides with my health issues, life is literally too short for me to waste it on my talentless hopes and dreams.

tiny
02-08-2010, 05:46 AM
I submit when I remember to. When I do remember I'm never quite sure where my stories fit. Worse, when I get a rejection I usually can't remember what story I sent them.

I really should keep better records.

icerose
02-08-2010, 05:53 AM
I submit when I remember to. When I do remember I'm never quite sure where my stories fit. Worse, when I get a rejection I usually can't remember what story I sent them.

I really should keep better records.

It's why I use a spreadsheet. One for each piece, or at least keep them a few lines from each other. I do the book title, the person submitted to, the agency/publisher, and the date of send outs. When I get a rejection or further request I update it. That way I can "set it and forget it" (Teehee, okay I channeled an infomercial for that one.)

Annayna
02-08-2010, 05:54 AM
I'm shy when it comes to people reading my writing, though I am getting better :D

tiny
02-08-2010, 05:57 AM
It's why I use a spreadsheet. One for each piece, or at least keep them a few lines from each other. I do the book title, the person submitted to, the agency/publisher, and the date of send outs. When I get a rejection or further request I update it. That way I can "set it and forget it" (Teehee, okay I channeled an infomercial for that one.)

That's a good idea. I just happen to have a fresh copy of exel and no knowledge of how to use it. :D

Cranky
02-08-2010, 06:02 AM
I don't submit because I don't finish. I make no claims about talent or lack thereof, but confidence is key for both finishing and submitting, and my gas tank there is rather low. It's been a cyclical thing for me for years, and I have hope that I'm currently just in a funk, but this time feels different.

I do know of at least one writer (not me) who does submit and seems geniunely astonished that someone would pay them for their work. They're very humble about praise, but not falsely so, and it doesn't stop them from subbing, thankfully, so their talent is being recognized by others, if not by the individual themselves. :)

Matera the Mad
02-08-2010, 07:35 AM
Erm, I'm waiting on the NABNA :o

...and making yet more tweaks, but #1 Beta says that my query synopsis is gud 2 go. (sorry, she lol-speaks)

Dawnstorm
02-08-2010, 11:08 AM
Attitude is the problem. I don't think I have a professional mindset (yet). If I get accepted I suddenly have responsibilities: deadlines, other people's money's on the line...

I don't like the thought of responsibilities that go with submitting. I feel that - before I start submitting - I should be ready for the business part of writing.

Recently, J.D. Salinger died. Here's (or rather was) a man who went into the business, found it tedious (or stressful?), and went back to writing in private. I can somewhat relate. Somewhat. Salinger knew what he was doing when he quit publishing; I don't know what I'm doing, not publishing.

Currently, being accepted is more scary to me than being turned down.

Phaeal
02-08-2010, 07:34 PM
As for streamlining the submission process, it's all about planning, like all business endeavors. You prepare all your sendables in all possible formats (paper full, paper partial, .doc docs, .rtf docs, .txt docs, email body format, cover letter templates, synopses in varying lengths, query letter templates for paper and email, bios.) You set up physical and digital files for everything. You keep and ruthlessly update a submission record and market/agent files. You have stamps and envelopes and mailing boxes on hand.

My biggest time expenditure (more than a month) was to compile and research my agent list. Now I can update it with an hour or less a week. The rest took a couple days. But now I can put together a short story sub in fifteen minutes, a set of five-ten novel queries in an hour.

The physical process, once put in order, isn't a big deal. It's that pesky emotional process. For me, having the physical process down to automatic is part one of getting over the emotional process -- I don't get to whine and say, "Oh, I just don't have time to resub!" Hell, I can resub through a veil of tears. As long as I don't let the tears get onto the paper or into the keyboard. ;)

Collectonian
02-08-2010, 11:27 PM
To echo some others....I haven't submitted yet because I'm not done yet. I finally finished my first novel from start to end in 2008, and now I have two. Both are in editing of first/second draft stages, though, so far from ready for submission.