Guest Post By Toni Hammer of Is It Bedtime Yet?
The time has come. You want to get published somewhere other than your blog. Are you nervous? Scared? Excited? It’s nerve-wracking to submit a piece to a new site and, since writers are oftentimes terribly insecure people, it’s natural for you to feel apprehensive.
Have no fear, though, because I’ve compiled a list of six things you can do in order to prepare yourself before hitting that “Send” button.
1. Write the piece. I know this sounds simple, but this is honestly the hardest step to take. You must conquer all of your fears, make the time, put your butt in your chair, and get the piece out of your head and onto paper. You will find a million excuses as to why you can’t do it. You will tell yourself the idea is awful. You will convince yourself that no one will want it. Shut up, sit down, and write.
2. Set it aside for a few days. Your piece is done. Yay! You’ve looked it over 17 times, are confident it’s perfect, and open up your email to send it off. WAIT. Let the piece rest for a couple of days. Don’t think about it or look at it. You need to do your best to remove it from your brain because after a few days you’ll be able to see it with new eyes. This breathing time will allow you the opportunity to make your piece better than it was when you were ready to send it the first time.
[bctt tweet=”6 Boxes To Check Off Before Submitting Your Writing @realtonihammer”]
3. Edit it. Now that you’ve let it sit for a few days and you’re looking at the piece with a fresh perspective it’s time to start the editing. Editing can be tedious and boring, but it is vital to making your piece the best it can be. You’ll notice commas you missed and extraneous words which can be cut out. You’ll find a great place to insert a joke or add a personal story that will only enhance your piece. Edit it until you think it is absolutely perfect and you’re ready to send it but don’t do it yet.
4. Have someone else look over it. This could be a friend, fellow writer, or a professional editor. You need someone who isn’t emotionally attached to the piece to read over it and let you know what they really think. Someone who hasn’t poured their heart and soul into the piece is better able to see things you’re blind to like a “there” instead of “their” or a missing apostrophe. Hearing critiques can be hard but it only improves your work and your talent moving forward. Take their suggestions seriously and make the appropriate changes.
5. Read the submission guidelines several times. Make sure you understand exactly what the site is looking for. Do they want just a pitch or the whole submission? Do they want it in the body of the email or as an attachment? Should you give your credentials or just get straight to the story? Editors are busy, busy people and they don’t have time to spend on someone who wasn’t serious enough about their work to follow the guidelines. Double, triple, and quadruple check that you have done everything they have asked for.
6. Send! Now it’s time. Send that baby off into cyberspace and settle into the waiting period. I know it’s hard to resist the urge to check your email every seven seconds for a response so I have a suggestion to take your mind off of your pending submission:
Start on your next one.
[bctt tweet=”I have a suggestion to take your mind off of your pending submission: Start on your next one.@realtonihammer”]
Beyond Your Blog is an affiliate for Toni Hammer’s editing services. If you are at step #4 on Toni’s list above and need a pro to edit your piece before you submit, check out Toni’s editing services ranging from proof reading and copy editing to a site-specific critique. Click here to learn more about Toni and to see services and pricing.
Toni Hammer is a blogger, freelance writer, and editor who just signed her first book deal. She is a regular writer for Scary Mommy, Babble, and Huffington Post amongst others. Her humor has been featured on both Huffington Post and Babble’s Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week lists as well as The Today Show’s Funniest Parents on Facebook. Aside from writing, she is the Content Strategist & Editor for Sammiches & Psych Meds and aspires to run her own site someday. You can find her chronicling her mommy misadventures at Is It Bedtime Yet, Facebook, and Twitter.