I hear about and meet a lot of people that want to write a book. They seem amazed that I could and actually did get a book published (I am too!). I can tell in their eyes that when they ask me how I did it, they want me to say, “well I just wrote a story and sent it in!”
Truthfully, that is what happened, however not until I did at least 1 year worth of research on writing children’s picture books, enrolled in a children’s writing course, and sent in manuscript after manuscript. Getting published in children’s magazines is not very profitable, if at all, however I believe it helped me get a book published much quicker. Many writers I know won't submit to magazines or small presses because they feel they are a waste of time. However, I think I’m living proof that having a few things you can put on your writing resume makes a publisher see that you are serious about your craft. Plus, just seeing your name in print, whether it’s a magazine, an article in the newspaper or newsletter, is a great boost to anyone’s writing ego. And let’s face it, we need to keep our ego’s going or we are doomed for failure.
The bottom line is if you are a writer who is afraid to submit, then you will quite possibly never see yourself published. I admit, it really is hard to get the confidence in yourself and your writing to actually start submitting it. But, if you go in to it with a positive attitude and believe in your story, then even if you get a rejection at least you can sit back and say you tried. And it will give you the courage to try again and again until your dream finally comes true. Persistence is the name of the game when it comes to anything you really want, and especially in getting your work published.
So if you are one of those writers who are afraid to submit, I challenge you to get out that favorite story you’ve written, edit it the best you can and send it out. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so! Just take it one submission at a time. Goodluck!