Should I Try? Should I Not Try?


A family member suggested yesterday that I should submit a short story to Reader’s Digest. My natural inclination was to say that I am not good enough or that my credentials do not even compare to the competition for such a magazine. Do not mistake me. I know I am a great writer, but my brilliancy is nothing to the excellent talents one sees gracing the pages of Reader’s Digest! And that thought is exactly what was keeping me from saying yes to such a suggestion.

Then I considered all the self-help books I read on becoming a published writer. Every book I have read and every established author I ever talked to always said that a beginning writer, or any writer for that matter, must put themselves out there. Rejection is a common thing in the publishing industry. Embrace this sorry truth because the more rejections one receives, the more one understands what is their strengths and weaknesses.

The only way to become published is to submit, submit, submit. And afterwards comes reject, reject, reject. But somewhere amongst all these rejections and submissions could be a publication. Perhaps the Reader’s Digest will be my publication amongst all these rejections. And with that in mind, I will read an issue of the magazine, figure out what the target audience is, write a short story, and send it.

As for all those other self-doubters out there, listen to those suggestions from family, friends, fellow writers, editors, and whoever else knows about your dreams. Your dream does not necessarily need to be about writing. It could be becoming an athlete, a singer, a dancer, or an actor. Your dream does not need to be so glamorous. It could be becoming a police officer, a school teacher, a zookeeper, or a nurse. Whatever your dream is, chase it. Forget about the doubt and worries. Toss those obstacles aside and embrace your dreams.


3 thoughts on “Should I Try? Should I Not Try?”

  1. The problem with this technique is burn out. There are many publishing houses that NEVER contact you after your submission so you don’t have to worry about getting too many rejections, you’ll just disappear into the slushpile. On the other hand, in some instances submitting can be done on line. In other cases, blogs can fit the bill.

    I’m a bit jaded when it comes to getting published. I’ve had stories in print and online and it feels good. But of the 12 or so published pieces, I have uncounted rejects. Not that the rejected stories are bad, but just don’t fit. I’ve found my writing doesn’t “fit” most places.

    Personally, I think my stuff is too good for Reader’s Digest. Actually, they have very specific guidelines and I don’t fit their parameters.

  2. This is great, it’s exactly what I’m told by all the important people in my life ‘keep dreaming’. Submit Submit! x

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