Friday, November 22, 2013

Why Quitting Is a Mistake

Last week I submitted an article to 17 regional parenting publications and have heard back from not a one. Other writers have told me this isn't unusual for RPP's, but I've always been contacted within a week in this market.

Successful blogger Mary Jaksch of A-list Blogging and Write to Done would call this pause "lag time," and says that whenever we put ourselves out there, there's some lag time between production and response, between submission and acceptance, between creating a blog and getting readers and comments.

When we're lucky, the lag time is a few days. Other times it could take weeks or more. The error is to mistake this pause as failure. Writers who do this quit blogging on the cusp of (an unseen) success or stop submitting articles just shy of an acceptance.

The empty inbox always threatens to freeze my progress as I obsessively (and unproductively) poke holes in my submitted article. It's easy to get caught up in the TOO's:  of course they don't want it, it's too short/too long/too general/too self-involved.  But it's so much better to focus on the DO's; on what else can be done to make progress.

Now, if a significant amount of time and effort is poured into it and there's still no response, that's a good reason to analyze things and figure out if something needs to be changed.

But until then, it's all about Building Momentum, about - as scientists would say - building pressure. While it appears as if nothing is happening, each submission (or 17 submissions..), blog, written chapter or simple admission of "I'm a writer" adds more and more pressure until progress is inevitable and as visible as any scientific reaction.


Related Posts:

Rejection, Shmijection

Have a Case of Rejection Depression?

Surviving Revision #21


Anonymous said...

Great post Colleen. My one regret as a writer is that at one point, I got discouraged and stopped writing for a few years. If I had not quit, temporarily, I would be farther ahead now.

But I'm back at and it and there will be no quitting this time. Your post was a great reminder of what I need to do.

Colleen said...

Thanks, Leslie - I hope the promise of results helps keep you going like it's been doing for me lately.

I feel the same way about quitting a few times over the years, but try not to linger in that place too long. Just long enough to remind myself not to do it again :)

I checked out your blog and it looks like you have a lot of experiences and helpful info to share.