Submission sounds like a dirty word.

When I think of submission, I think of the Church and I think of writing. Either way, I have always been too stubborn to NOT cringe at the thought of submitting under someone else (even if that person is Jesus). I don’t like things being out of my hands and under someone else’s control (which has caused issues in both my faith and my writing).

When it comes to writing, I see SUBMIT! written all over the place. Working at the Union, I’m in charge of approving and hanging up posters. There was a day when I approved a poster about a literary magazine asking us to


…I stared at it for a solid ten minutes.  It made me nauseous. I thought of the rejection that may await, of the glances at a work I’ve written that will deem it un-ready, of the shame and embarrassment. I thought, in a whir of self-condemnation, about how big my ego must be if it gets deflated so much by a simple “We can’t accept your work at this time.”

I desire to share my work by the off chance that some soul will read it and think, someone gets it. That it’ll make someone out there feel a little less alone, a little more understood. I want my work to be for others and not for myself, so why is it so difficult to risk hitting that SUBMIT! button? Am I afraid of rejection or am I afraid that my family will read the work and be offended by the personal things I expose about them (though most often it’s more embarrassing for myself)?

I have no answers, only questions: are you afraid of submission? What fears do you have in submitting your work? What joy do you have in submitting work?


One Reply to “SUBMIT!”

  1. Hi Grace,
    I think this is a great topic you’ve brought up!
    I’m not typically afraid of making submissions, although I’m always nervous about hearing back from orgs I’ve submitted to. It’s always nice to be surprised when someone decides to publish you. Last semester a poem of mine was chosen for Gandy Dancer and I was shocked. Out of the four pieces I had submitted to them I didn’t think they would choose the one they did. I think this is why submitting your personal work is tricky. You never know how other people are going to see it even though you know exactly what it means in your head.
    I think the joy I have in submitting work is the excitement in knowing I’ve done something to get my work out there. I always think I’m not doing enough to get people to see my work/get published, and so I think submitting makes me feel accomplished.
    Hope my answer was helpful!

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