Hidden Benefits to Sending Your Story Out

With a trembling finger, you hit “send” and zap your story to contest coordinators or publishing professionals.

Every day writers take this BIG step, sigh, and sink into their chairs spent.

We know the only way to enjoy contest success, receive offers of representation from agents, or sell books is to let our stories go, and yet it’s not an easy task.

Why? Because we hold high hopes but battle fear and doubt. Entering contests, querying, or going out on submission can result in emotions that fluctuate wildly as we await news from contest coordinators, agents, or editors.

There are hidden benefits to putting our work “out there,” though. Here are a few I’ve noticed in the two weeks since my agent sent my story out on submission.

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Seven Benefits to Sending Your Story Out

•We check email promptly, being highly attuned to the tone that signifies the arrival of a new message.

•We frequent Twitter on a more regular basis as we await tweets from those to whom we’ve sent our work—or those who’ve sent it out on our behalf.

•We keep good track of our cell phones, not letting a single call or voice mail go unnoticed.

•We save our family members the need to answer the phone, racing to it before they have a chance to get there.

•We don’t miss any messages on our answering machines because we check them every time we pass by—and several more times a day just for good measure.

•We hone our editing skills as we draft and polish countless just-wanted-to–touch-base messages we (hopefully) talk ourselves out of sending.

•And we develop patience—whether we want to or not. 🙂

• • • • •

I wanna know . . .

Do you have an entry, query, or submission “out there”?

How do you deal with the sometimes-agonizing wait when you do?

What are some of the hidden benefits you’ve discovered when you’ve sent your work into the world?

• • • • •

This is Frabjous Friday, a day to have some fun and celebrate our successes. If you have good news, I invite you to share it in a comment so I can join in your happy dance. ~ Keli

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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10 Responses to Hidden Benefits to Sending Your Story Out

  1. territiffany says:

    LOL Another hidden benefit is it gives you something to look forward to each day:)) The What if!

  2. Keeping my fingers XX for you Keli! I’m sure you’ll be hearing good news soon. 🙂

    I try to keep several things out there at the same time so I can’t concentrate too heavily on any one thing (what my Gramma called “fuss and stew”). Right now I have a couple of contest entries and one submission to a publisher, and I’m trying not to think about ANY of them!

    I must agree with your hidden benefit of learning patience. I am NOT a patient person but writing and submitting FORCES me to be one.

    AC

  3. Wow, Keli. that post just poked me in the eye. There is a secret fear we all have of not being “liked.” From the girls in high school to the last time an agent sent us a polite … thanks but no thanks.

    It is a hard emotion to overcome, that feeling of wanting to be accepted, but in this business you either expose yourself to rejection or you will never be heard.

    For me the hidden advantages of sending out the “very” few I sent, was the luck of having comments. Actual comments from three agents.

    I am learning that this is a process and to be truly prepared for the process we must think of the work first and our fragile feelings last.

    Thanks again and have a great day 🙂

  4. Vonnie Davis says:

    My agent started “shopping out” my manuscript this week. Am I nervous? Yes, very. I’m trying not to dwell on it, keeping busy by revamping my first novel that’s been residing rent free in my documents file. What a pitiful effort. Gee, and I thought it was fabulous at the time. Of course that was before I learned about “head hopping,” deep pov and creating tension. Still, I do have my Chat window open in case my agent wants to tell me something…

  5. Oh, Keli! I LOVE this. We complain a lot about having to wait for agent/publisher/contest news but you’ve put a new spin on it and made it all about the benefits.

    One GREAT benefit I’ve had is keeping busy. This is the first time I’ve had anything serious out to agents for any length of time (yeah, in all reality is hasn’t been that long :D) and in trying not to think about it I’ve been hard at work on a new novel. This way, if I DO hear back something good, I’ll have another project to show them. And if I get news that’s not so good…I’ll have something new to send out sooner for the next round 🙂

  6. Julie Musil says:

    Now THAT is a silver lining! Keli, this was a great post. I keep sane by writing new material.

    I wish you lots and lots of luck on those submissions!

  7. Susan Mason says:

    Keli,

    Wishing you buckets of good luck in your rounds of submission! I just know some savy editor will snap it up!

    Did your agent tell you which publishing houses she was sending it to, or is it all a big surprise?

    Sue

  8. I’m not waiting on anything right now (have been procrastinating about sending out a particular query), but memories from the past agree with all your points. One other benefit is the frantic housekeeper that suddenly emerges when I’m too antzy to settle down at my desk. I get closets organized, windows cleaned, the freezer defrosted, etc. — all those jobs that I avoid when I’m in my can’t-stop-because-I’m-too-busy-writing mode.

  9. Lori Benton says:

    Ha, that was a funny list, especially the email drafting. 🙂

    I’m doing my best to put it out of my mind and concentrate on the novel I’m working on. When I think of it, I pray God’s will be done, the right door opens, and every other door remains closed. But mostly, I seem to be able to forget about it and concentrate on the work that’s in front of me. From what I hear from published writers, that’s not easy to do once a contract comes into play, or a book is released and must be promoted, so I’m looking at these days of no deadlines, no promotion, no expectations, for however long they last, as a precious, and thanking God for each one daily.

  10. Ah Keli, you must be shadowing me. Everything you say is true. 🙂 Now back to my manuscript so I can send it out and start waiting again…

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