Yesterday in my blog about my writing week, I wrote about aiming to send a piece of work out everyday. As writers, especially when first starting out, we can be a bit precious over our work. We send it out, by e-mail or post, and then chew our nails down to stumps, persistently checking our e-mails or lurking by the door until the postman has been, waiting for a response to our dazzling article or sizzling short story.
I have to admit – this was me when I began writing but when I realised that some editors take months, or even years (yes, years! I’d given up on one story after hearing nothing for almost two years when I received a letter, cheque and copy of the magazine my story had just been published in!), I realised the importance of sending work out and then moving on to the next project.
It’s a good idea to keep a records book, including details of what you’ve sent, who to, the date, whether it was sent by e-mail or post etc and to check this on a monthly basis. You might find that by this time, you’ve heard back from a lot of the editors anyway or if you haven’t, you can think about a follow-up e-mail/letter.
But because you’ve always been working on that next piece of work, you haven’t had time to dwell on whether the pieces you’ve sent out have been published or what the editor thinks of your work. Your nails are still intact, your family haven’t been getting fed up with you checking your e-mails for the hundredth time that day and the postman hasn’t been giving you funny looks as you wait to pounce on him every morning.
This also helps you to cope with the inevitable rejections. After all, what’s one or two rejections when you have lots of other pieces of work out there which might be accepted?