Deadly Writing Mistake #3: Failing to Submit

I once had a student who flew helicopters in Vietnam, drove truck, worked as a policeman, fireman, and did just about every manly job you can name. His poetry about his war experiences made the class weep. He confided in me that he’d penned similar poems, but doubted he’d ever publish because he didn’t think he could ever overcome his fear of submitting. At that moment I became aware of how scary it can be to put our writings out there—for someone to judge, to say yea or nay to it.

No matter how great your idea, how beautiful your prose, how perfectly you’ve slanted your piece to fit a market, you’ll never publish something sitting in a file in your computer.

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how difficult it is to take a chance, send something out, and risk rejection

If you’re struggling with submitting-itis, you’re not alone. I see this problem among the most gifted writers, including myself. I use the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” to help me. You may find another verse works for you. Go to Christ and pray, ask him to help you overcome this malady so you can fulfill your calling as a writer.

During my teaching year, I held a contest every year. I gave a prize to the person with the most rejections and a prize to the person with the most acceptances. Surprise! The same person won every single time.

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