Posted in Submission of writing, Submitting for Publication, Writing

Payoff when Submitting for Publication

For the last six months, my writing has been on hold.  On July 20, 2017, I almost lost my left middle digit to a fungal infection that a doctor deadened and lanced. Two days later, it was black—dead, not simply bruised. Doctors’ cautionary comments did not use the word, amputation, but they hinted at it for a month.

My writing life was on hold. Or so I thought. 

Up until that time, I had continuously submitted stories and essays for publication or competition in contests. I learned that when writing dwindles or comes to a complete stop, my publication life can continue.

The Tally

I submitted eleven times this year in hopes of publication. Nine submissions were rejected, but two were accepted. While one is still pending, another chance to publish came unexpectedly.

Timing: Before the injury and talk of amputation

Late June Marfa House’s romance anthology entitled, Love is in the Air, published one of my finest pieces of fiction, “The End of Island Life.”

Timing: During treatment to avoid amputation

A previously published essay, “From Ugly Duckling to Howling Wolf,” was chosen from an earlier Story Circle Network anthology. This year the Network created a new anthology, Inside Out: Women’s Truths, Women’s Stories: Stories from the Story Circle Network with selected pieces pulled from several years’ worth of past anthologies.

Timing: Toward the end of treatment to circumvent amputation

By late October I could proficiently type with nine digits. So I submitted an essay to address my writing life interrupted in a 1000-word article, “Finger Gone Rogue; Novel Gone Mute.” The Story Circle Network accepted the piece for their annual online anthology of women’s voices for members only.

BONUS: In hopes to make something useful come from my tragedy, I wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper in early November about the unpredictability of health issues and the need to sign up for health insurance. (This was not in my “literary tally.”)

SUMMARY: Four 2017 publications = one before the injury + three during my injury and recovery (+bonus letter to the editor).

   The Payoff

The point? The payoff of continuing to build a repertoire of my work in various places with different audiences?

If we have been faithful to our work and to building a writing résumé, it continues to work for us, even when it appears our writing life has been stalled for reasons beyond our control.

Author:

Fiction and nonfiction writer, traveler, blogger, workshop facilitator. Author of coming-of-age travel memoir, At Home in the World: Travel Stories of Growing Up and Growing Away.

4 thoughts on “Payoff when Submitting for Publication

  1. So glad you persevered. Injuries can literally be a pain the butt for me, so I find writing and reading take my mind off my pain. Sounds like you kept your mind occupied. Congratulations on the focus. Hope your finger is healed now.

    Letty After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, STORIES are the thing we need most.

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    1. In fact, while I took two-hour treatments daily in the hyperbaric chamber, I did a lot of reading in my genre to be able to find books that are similar to mine for pitching to agents soon, and a couple of books on the craft of writing. Time well spent!!!

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  2. Yes! My 2018 objectives include more submissions. Your ideas for submission sites are great.
    Story Circle Network continues to be a support and inspiration to keep writing
    Your challenge and journey with you finger contains a wonderful message. Happy New Year with wishes for recovery and health
    Ethel

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