The Ultimate Guide to Writing Success

*First published on MCXV

Many people ask me how I’ve had success with pitching article ideas and creative writing. As a fresh graduate, I have to admit I can’t believe it myself. So I’m here to reveal my TOP secret on how I’ve managed to place my writing in almost 30 publications. Are you ready? Here it is, the ultimate reveal:

Submit your work.

That’s it. That’s my big secret.

Really.

Okay, there’s plenty of other factors, like how I submit to publications and how often, practice, revisions, writing classes, blah blah blah. But the majority of the time, I get work in a publication because I submit work or at least pitch an idea to them. How are you supposed to get acceptances if you never send out your work to be considered in the first place? No, you may not actually get an acceptance, but the normal acceptance rate for many writers is around 25%. On my Submittable account (many publications use the system to manage submissions), I have four acceptances, but nineteen rejections. This doesn’t take into account submissions I’ve sent by email, but you get the point.

I’ve met so many writers who are much more talented than I am, but haven’t submitted their work anywhere. It’s almost irritating, because their work deserves to be out there and to be enjoyed by other writers. But I know submitting work feels vulnerable and scary. I used to write and rewrite emails constantly because I was self-conscious about how I sounded. Or frankly, how my work sounded. But I still pressed the ‘send’ button. I still confirmed submissions. I even made a list of rejections I’ve had and followed other writers who were doing a “100 Rejections” challenge, which have made rejections kind of fun. Because even rejections mean you’ve tried.

It gets easier, and along the way, you learn more and more about submitting. Sometimes you’ll even get feedback from rejection and find other opportunities. Rejection is just a natural path to success.