On impostor syndrome and choice paralysis while submitting to lit mags.
Apparently you have been sitting inside my head listening to me! Only difference is I'm 65 (eek!) and a little bit closer to the title of this column. Eek again.
This is excellent. I agree in so many ways.
"...but this dude seems like an asshole" lolol
This sticks out, too, as an example of something I completely agree with:
"This one won't have a URL for my story, and I won't send people to read page 62."
Relatedly, it's why I'm not a fan of journals using ISSUU (or similar) or having a downloadable PDF.
It's just not an ideal way to share and it feels like you're asking people to jump through way too many hoops when they can so easily just click on the next thing in their feed.
I'm working on an essay/post from the position of writers speaking to editor's about submission guidelines and how guidelines should be, in short, as writer-friendly as possible. Hopefully out in the not too distant future.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I had a CRN piece accepted by a reputable journal, held for publication nearly a year, then finally signed a contract and less than a month later was informed they'd voided my contract and were relinquishing my piece. Huh? No wonder we hesitate to submit work to journals if we're treated so callously.
The theme call thing is getting ridiculous at this point. What the hell is “luminous light” supposed to be??
Hilarious, insightful and so close to the bone it hurts. btw you can write. :-)
This is so relatable and exactly why I have never submitted anywhere. So daunting. And my self-consciousness hates me. But now that I've prematurely published a couple of stories on Substack, I regret not letting those stories sit and marinate. I could have revised them next year and, if not full of dread, maybe submitted them to wherever.
I've never felt more seen 🤣😭😂
Man... "God, just one poem by this person seems better than all of my poems." and "too good for this ugly website." Are so me. Also, thank you for Chill Subs! This is my first year head-down submitting ~6 times/week since March. I've gotten 31 rejections and 5 poems accepted - taking tons of time vetting places that I'm proud to be included in. So many Friday nights of clicking in and out of different mag's profiles. I couldn't have done it without this platform! x) And, it was my goal to get published in a lit mag before turning 30 (on the last day of this year).
Love this so much. Thank you for starting my day with a laugh, and encouragement...as I wait for a dozen blue buttons to turn green (pray for me;)
I was thinking on a cool catchphrase like Submission by submission! Submit to submission ? And then I was thinking it maybe wasnt the right thing but then I remember this is chill subs so submit to submit!
Also the lesson learned is that maybe Chill subs is the perfect place for your posts. I always dreamed to wear a cool company shirt that says “look at me I work at Stroogle” or “Im a Nasal employee” but life has different paths and opportunities for us, and I learned maybe I can wear a tshirt of an unknown company and make it grow to the point I go “look at me, I not only work here I build it, and Im in charge of the restrooms because hell yeah profits”
Just add a link, if noone clicks it its cool, if you get cold feet just add an april fools doodle, but you need to push the publish button. The only way to fix things is to do them to know where it goes wrong. thats a bit of wisdom from the Comiclab guys.
also, this is some good stuff thank you for sharing
Omg, Karina - I love you (in a non-creepy way)! Methinks you are a WRITER who writes super-relatable stuff. I'll buy whatever magazine you're published in. And I don't usually read literary magazines. Because of all the stuff you said. :-)
My submission thoughts to fancy journal is, ooooo moonneyyy > submit >
my poem is now your problem.
inspiring. i think, who has time to "know" where they're sending their work at the outset? i just load up the cannon and blammo. you can learn a lot from the patterns of projectiles in their targets. god, now i sound like a gun nut. this comment is a persona poem from the perspective of dick "dick" cheney
Mark Danowsky: "This one won't have a URL for my story. I won't send people to read page 62."
Mark: "Relatedly, it's why I'm not a fan of journals using ISSUU (or similar) or having a downloadable PDF."
Thank you, Mark! Totally agree! :-)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Karina, I'm a poet who submits every day. Every single day, even on weekends. And I've been doing this for years. And when you submit every day, you have to keep generating new poems.
And your poems must keep getting better.
Best way to do that: join a poetry critique group in your genre [literary / speculative / horror, etc.].
I ran a Spec-Po Critique Group for 3 years.
Thanks to that group, one newbie poet got his first chapbook published within 1 year.
What's my track record like?
In the past 15 months, I've had three poetry collections accepted by two indie presses and one university press.
In the past 15 months, I've led two poet colleagues (both of whom were in poetry critique groups) to two publishers (Wipf & Stock and a newer indie imprint); thanks to my market knowledge, each poet got a manuscript accepted on the first try.
Karina, you don't improve solely by "submitting."
You improve by having colleagues critique you and expose you to new ideas.
Think about my suggestion.
Good luck to you!
I've been working up the courage to submit my short story to The Fairytale Review for...9 years. :)