October 5, 2015

Why Submit?

By Sherry Perkins

What is up with submissions?

We write for many reasons: to express ourselves, to join in the creative process, to see if we can actually string words together which make sense, to contribute to something bigger than ourselves, or simply for the love of the written word. Writing means different things to different people. It means something to the writer and to the reader.            

If your writing, whether it’s a novel, memoir, poetry, general-interest articles, press release, or a myriad of other genres, doesn’t mean anything to you, how will it ever mean something to the reader? That being said, put your whole heart into each piece and the end result will resonate, encourage, cause debate, motivate, inspire, sadden, uplift, expose, elaborate, or hopefully cause a thousand other emotions. We all know we should write good copy for the audience, for the reader, but it should also resonate with us…the writer. If my own pieces don’t move me, they will never move the reader. Don’t you feel the same? It’s all about impact.

Speaking of impact. What is up with submissions and why is it important to put yourself out there? As a freelance writer in print over 100 times, I’m constantly putting myself out there. I submit over and over again. Why? I mean, who in their right mind wants to get rejected? Who wants to not see our name on a competition’s short list? Who wishes to go through the agonizing wait for an editor or publisher to say “yes,” or “no?” I do. I do it all the time. I do it because I want to. I do it because I have to. I do it because I have something to say and I want someone to listen.

There is nothing more exciting to me than seeing my name in a byline. Why? Because it is a direct result of my motivation. It is the effect of my diligence, perseverance, determination to give my words life outside my own head. I want them to sprout wings and fly across the world, to experience other cultures, to be read by strangers.

Yes, unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes. But if you don’t make your submissions a priority, who will? No one. You are the only one charged with the task. Don’t let your words stay buried on a thumb drive, in a notebook, on a computer screen. Find the time to share them.

Artists like to share. We do it freely to anyone willing to listen, anyone hungry for information, anyone yearning to know the craft. We offer advice and encouragement. We share our experiences. We want our writer friends to succeed. We are not selfish. We are not arrogant. We share our stories, our publishing journeys, our setbacks, our successes because we’re all in it together.

Now…get to submitting. Stop letting life get in the way of your dreams. Get your byline. Do it.

Nobody is going to do it for you.
Sherry Perkins wears many colorful and crazy hats. As editor, ghostwriter, grant writer, interviewer, playwright, screenwriter, speaker, author of three chapbooks and a book of photography, she is constantly in motion. Her articles appear in over a dozen print publications and on various online sites. From flash fiction to marketing flyers to a blurb on a national tourism website in Ireland, Sherry loves the diverse creativity which writing brings. Visit Sherry’s blog at Her chapbooks of combined poetry, short stories, and flash fiction can be found on Amazon. Book titles include: The Red BookThe Blue BookThe Yellow Book.

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