Submitting My Essays – Keeping the Butterflies in Check

a hand holding a blue fountain pen, another hand on the page of a journal. Pen is writing words in cursive in the journal

At the beginning of 2021, I set a goal to submit my essays to publications in hopes of having them published. I’ve had essays published before and have had dozens of articles published as well so it’s not like I’m new to submitting or to being published but I haven’t been writing much for several years and, as a result, haven’t had many things published. Another factor to not having many things published is this – I haven’t been submitting my essays to publications for consideration. So I set myself a goal to submit a dozen times in 2021. That felt like a big goal given that I only submitted only two essays in 2019 (both were rejected) and didn’t submit anything in 2020. But I decided that 12 wasn’t enough so I upped my goal to 21. This goal setting came in part because my writing friend, Janine Kovac, set herself a goal of 200 submissions in a year. Janine made her goal (and had many pieces published in the process) so I figured if she could submit 200 times then I could do 21.

So I set off to submit my essays 21 times this year and got right to work

I submitted two essays by February 1st and kept on submitting. Part of what I’m doing is practicing submitting my work – publication is less the goal than making a practice of writing, editing, and submitting. I still feel butterflies in my stomach each time I click on “submit” and send one of my essays out for consideration.  You see, I’m somewhat scared to have people read my work. Some of the things I write are personal. Some of the things I write make my cry when I write them and when I read them. Some of the things I write have been misunderstood by the few people who have read them. That sort of feedback along with the fears and personal nature of what I write has made me want to hide my work and quit trying to get it out there. But I’ve also shared a fair amount of my writing with a core group of writing classmates and friends who DO appreciate what I have to say and who encourage me to send it out into the world. So I am giving it a go and decided to make a big effort to send my work out this year. To some degree, it’s getting easier to send things out but I suspect I’ll always have a bit of trouble keeping my fears at bay and the butterflies in check.

At present, I have eight essays out there being considered by various publications and I made my 21 submissions goal by the end of April. I’m up to 27 submissions now! Woo hoo! But, here’s where I get a bit discouraged, I haven’t had any essays accepted by publications as of yet. I’ve had eight rejections – several of which were “nice” rejections with personalized rejection letters encouraging me to keep writing and to send more work their way. But no acceptances.

No acceptances- Yet. But as long as I keep submitting, I’ll get something published. It’s got to happen sometime. Right?

Honestly, it’s a bit depressing to see my friends get their work accepted and still not have any of my essays find a home but I will keep pressing on. I have a handful of essays that just need some edits and will be ready to submit. I have others that need more work and then will be ready. And I will keep on writing and create more essays. And I will keep submitting my essays.

I guess it might be time to come up with a new submissions goal. 50 submissions in 2021? One Hundred? Hmm, let’s go with 50 for now. I’m over halfway there!

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Myrna CG Mibus


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