The Courage to Hit Send

As a writer, the scariest thing in the world is probably the act of putting your work out there for others to see. What if they hate it? What if they hate me? For a long time, I didn’t submit anything at all. This year, I’ve made an effort to do better. My bravery has paid off: a publisher has requested the full of my romance novel (I’m revising one more time before sending it!) and I’ve been contracted to write two books for an educational publisher (children’s nonfiction).

For me, it helped to start small. This blog, for example, is a pressure-free way to put my writing out there for others to see. Over time, it’s become easier for me to submit my work. My goal for next year is to always have something on submission–a novel or a short story. I want to build a writing career. To do that, I have to sell books!

So, how do I work up the courage to hit send? I follow a 10-step submission process:

  1. Read, read, read.
  2. Write, write, write.
  3. Workshop with critique group.
  4. Tweak until it’s as good as you can make it.
  5. Eat a pint of ice cream (you can try to just eat a scoop, but I recommend the pint).
  6. Snuggle the cats.
  7. Take a deep breath.
  8. Hit send.
  9. Congratulate yourself for your bravery with a glass of wine (or more ice cream).
  10. Get back to work.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney