The Fear of Pressing ‘Send’
Are you a writer who is sometimes afraid to hit “Send”? Do you think you might “get in trouble” from an editor or that they might actually get angry that you had the nerve to send something to them in the first place?
I confess. Although the rational side of me knows that I am satisfied with my finished product before I am prepared to share it with anyone, let alone an editor of a magazine or newspaper, and although there are many occasions when I am confident, even relieved, to have submitted a piece, the other side of me sometimes takes over and my imagination conjures up all kinds of scenarios on the other end, such as an editor, upon seeing my e-mail saying “Her again!” and automatically deleting my submission without even bothering to read it.
Rejection is one thing; I certainly am used to that. But sometimes I actually get a nervous feeling before I open an e-mail from an editor in response to one of my submissions, especially if the piece I submitted was at all controversial. I brace myself for what will more than likely be another rejection, but there are times when I wonder if I might also be scolded by the editor.
I re-read his or her words repeatedly and ask myself if there is a hidden, perhaps even condescending undertone behind them. Are they really trying to say “There really is no easy way to say this but please, do us a favour and take the hint; we weren’t interested when you submitted to us in the past and we still are not interested”.
Thankfully, for the most part I have found editors to be very professional and in many cases, even kind, whether or not they choose to publish something I proposed.
As we writers all know, rejection is something that is guaranteed to come along with the territory. The reality is, while one editor might not like what we have to say, another might find our words brilliant by contrast.
Obviously rejection is not limited to writers. People face rejection to their business proposals and ideas every day but that does not stop those who are successful from having the confidence to use it as a learning experience and move forward.
Occasionally, I will see that I have an e-mail from a magazine or newspaper only moments after submitting to them. I open it with trepidation; with such a short time having passed since I sent the article, I am almost certain first of all that it was not even read and second of all that I will be met with yet another disappointment.
The truth is we have nothing to lose by continuing to submit our work; in fact, we have a lot more to lose by letting fear stand in our way. Our dreams take perseverance and we must be prepared for many let-downs along the path to our success and try to remember that there is no right or wrong when it comes to individual creativity.
I read my draft e-mail submission one last time. Finally, I take a deep breath and press Send. After that there is nothing I can do to take it back. I have put myself out there yet again, and I am prepared to accept whatever results, good, bad or indifferent, go along with it. It is my choice to hit Send just as it is the person on the receiving end’s choice to press the Delete key.
Not everything a writer submits will appeal to everyone. If someone does not wish to read something just by glancing at the subject line then let them go ahead and delete it. It does not necessarily mean that it was wrong to send it.
Furthermore, besides not being afraid of sending out our writing, we should also not be fearful of following up if we do not receive the courtesy of a response. There is nothing wrong with thinking oneself worthy of at the very least an acknowledgement.
We are not kindergarten children, we are adults. More importantly, we are writers and a publication is just as lucky to publish our work as we are to see it in print.
The thing is, if we constantly second-guess ourselves whether it is has to do with our writing abilities or anything else we may hope to achieve then we ourselves are basically saying that our work or what we have to say is not good enough. Although it is not always easy, we cannot allow fear and insecurity to interfere with the pursuit of our passions. So go ahead, just for fun, hit ‘Send’.♦
Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2013