On Sending Out
A colleague told me she belongs to a monthly drinking-and-submitting group. Someone hosts and serves up a bunch of booze; all the writers in attendance spend the evening submitting their work to magazines.
I thought that sounded ingenious. It’s so hard to find the time not only to write and revise, but to try to get your work out there. Why not get drunk and mail?
This fall, as part of a series of small resolutions, I decided that every Thursday would be a sending-out day. I figured, you know, my numbers have actually not been too bad. Over the years I’ve had some publishing successes without too onerously exerting myself. Sure, I have a giant folder of rejections somewhere and a much smaller folder of acceptances, but I also only sent my chapbook to four or five places before it got picked up, and in 2011 the only poem I sent out got published. So I figured, if I increased my yearly submissions to 52 (one per week), maybe I’d hit a ten percent success rate.
Well, to date I’m at zero percent, but it’s early days yet. I’d also be lying if I said I actually send out every Thursday. What I tend to do is pile up the weeks and then send, say, three submissions in one week. Researching places to submit, preparing files, deciding what work is ready–it all takes a lot of time. And of course, by sending out so much work, you not only open yourself to success but to the inevitable rejections (52 of them? Let’s hope not).
Do you have a system for sending out work, readers?