“Submission” is a funny word for the process of sending out work. It makes it feel like it should be a passive process. My mind goes for the classical Greek metaphor, imagining some demure temple acolytes padding silently toward the altar of Publishing, clean white papers ready in hand for the sacrifice. Then, once it’s gone, it’s gone, to be accepted or rejected according to the whims of the Editors.
That’s the tricky part, you see: the acceptance or rejection. That’s what means that submissions cannot be passive, or all that submissive. It’s a lot more like the version of sacrifice where you need six or eight muscular men and thick ropes to drag some roaring animal up to where it can already smell the blood of the others. The Publishing Gods are more known for their silence and disapproval than their welcome, you see, so offerings have to be frequent and animated enough to call the attention of those who see thousand similar creatures every day. It is exhausting even to think about. Maybe there are other writers who can flippantly whip submissions into the mail, but I am not one of them. I need a certain amount of prep time to psych myself into looking up magazines, reading guidelines, looking up whether that editor with the ambiguous name is a Mr. or Ms., and shuffling through the stack of things I want to send out. By the time I get through two or three of these, I’m feeling pretty beat, which is not so good if I figure an honest-to-goodness freelance writer must have to send out dozens every week.
I do realize, however, that it’s really silly to make myself a cute little writer’s site if I’m only going to be publishing blog posts. So today I sent off five pieces in one swoop, all different: a memoir essay, a story, a handful of poems, an article, some recipes. If nothing else, you cannot fault me for not offering something from any genre I know how to write. And it does feel relieving to see them crossed off my list, even if I’m feeling a little drained. Now to see if the offerings appeal, right? Editors, I believe it is your move.