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What Are You Afraid of? Submit That Manuscript! Pub Sub.

Image Copyright © 2014 Joan Y. Edwards

Image Copyright © 2014 Joan Y. Edwards

“What Are You Afraid of? Submit That Manuscript! Pub Sub.” by Joan Y. Edwards

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Your fears are strong emotions. If you can show the actual facts or accept that it is true. Or delve into the middle of it to find out if all the hype is true or not. Dispel the myths, the rumors, the big build-ups, the legends, the tales.

Writers Fears:

#1 Fear of Rejection

You fear rejection because of two things: what you believe it means that you are not a good writer. That you do not have writing talent.

Matthew Cook Realize it is not a rejection of you, but take accountability for it. It’s the story ideas or product they are rejecting, not you. Accept that “no” happens and move on.

Suzannah Windsor Freeman suggests that you research why submissions get rejected and revise your work accordingly.

I believe the best thing to do after rejection is to take the next action step toward your goal. Submit your manuscript again.

#2 Fear of Never Getting Published

Fear of Rejection because it means that you’ll never get Published. Keep the belief: “I am a paid published writer” running through your mind, on your monitor, on your bathroom mirror.

#3 Fear of Criticism

You are afraid of criticism because it stops you from working on that story again. It stops you in your tracks. When people criticize your work, you tend to think that the whole thing is bad, because part of it is bad.

Only change using the suggestions you believe 100%. Delete the other ideas.

Accept that this is just one person’s opinion. This is not a fact. Each person has a right to their opinion. If you do not understand their criticism, ask them to clarify their point of view. Ask them to tell you why. Ask them how they would change it.

When you ask a person to critique your work. Ask them to tell you 3 good points about your story.

#4 Fear of Failure to Sell

I am afraid my writing won’t sell itself and/or I won’t be able to sell my manuscripts.

I do not have the sales ability to sell my manuscripts. Andrea Phillips says you suffer from a fear of not making money with your writing.

Read 100 of the best-selling books in your genre. Then you’ll know what sells.

Read the pitch summaries from the back of these best-selling book, too.

Choose three of them to use as a pattern to write your pitch summary for you book.

Memorize your short selling pitch that fits on a 3×5 inch card. Practice using it to explain what you write to your friends when they ask, “What do you write?”

Be sure to tell the genre and the number of words in your manuscript in your pitch.

Interview the top-selling car salesman for your favorite car dealership. Ask him to demonstrate and tell you how he sells a car. Use his tactics to help you sell your manuscript.


 #5 Fear of Not Having the Time to Write

Perhaps you’re a writer whose afraid you won’t have enough time to write. Many people talk themselves into that becoming the truth. Do you know that the more you say something, the more your brain wants you to be right. It goes around searching for experiences to prove you right. So when you say, “I don’t have time to write,” bingo, it becomes true. You have to make time for you to write.

1. While your children are reading, playing with blocks, a fun activity for them, sit in their midst, and write. Use a pen and paper, electronic tablet or have everyone play in the office where your computer is. Plan your time to write.

2. If your book needs a lot of research and you’re afraid you won’t have time to do the research that is necessary. Do a Google Search, read the first paragraph or two of a link. If it’s pertinent to your story, copy the link down in a word document or in an email to yourself. Write one sentence that helps in your research from this article. Do 3 each day. Voila. It will add up.

3. Get up earlier in the morning than you usually do and write for 15 minutes.

#6 Fear of Being Too Young or Too Old to Write, or Having

Nothing to Write about That People Will Want to Read

Hogwash. No one is too young or too old to write. Write about a topic that is extremely interesting and intriguing to you. Chances are it will be fascinating to others, too. Writers usually write about conflicts with universal appeal. If it gets you fired up, it’ll probably get other people’s emotions riled up, too. Don’t set limits on your capabilities. Write what comes from your heart.

Sarah Jio suggest that you write about what scares you. An awesome idea.

Keep your eye on the prize – focus your attention (your thoughts, words, and actions) on what you want! Submit That Manuscript – Pub Sub.


For ideas to help you get your manuscript and necessary queries, cover letters, proposals, etc. read the Pub Subber Pages at the top of my blog:

Pub Subbers

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Good luck in your publication. Believe in you and your writing.

Resources I know you will enjoy reading:

  1. Agent X. “Seven Deadly Fears of Writing:” http://menwithpens.ca/7-deadly-fears-of-writing/
  2. Janna Malamud Smith. “Three Quiet Fears That Stop Writers from Writing:” http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/3-quiet-fears-that-stop-writers-from-writing
  3. Matthew Cook. “3 Keys for Dealing with Rejection in Sales:” http://web2.salesforcesearch.com/bid/149770/3-Keys-for-Dealing-with-Rejection-in-Sales
  4. Sage Cohen. “10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing:” http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/10-ways-to-harness-fear-and-fuel-your-writing
  5. Sarah Jio. “Writing and Fear:” http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/writing-and-fear/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
  6. Suzannah Windsor Freeman. “15 Common Writing Fears You Need to Face:” http://writeitsideways.com/15-common-writing-fears-you-need-to-face/

Please leave a comment. Tell me one of your biggest writing fears and how you overcome it!

Celebrate you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2014 Joan Y. Edwards


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4 Responses

  1. Joan,
    I guess my biggest recent fear has been that I won’t be able to reach my writing goals, due to my new role as caregiver. However, I have chosen to remain in my on-line critique group, take on-line workshops, and write about my caregiver experiences and other interests. Now, I am convinced that I will reach my earlier writing goals and some I never even imagined.


    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks for writing. I can imagine how your fear would grow taking care of your dear husband. It is great that you chose to remain in your on-line critique group, take on-line workshops, and write about your caregiver experiences and other interests, too. I am very proud of you. It is wonderful that you’ve worked through your fears and now you are convinced you will meet your earlier writing goals and some you never even imagined. Go, Linda, go.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up


  2. I fear being snubbed and never getting a response from agents and editors. I have heard back from only about 40% in the past year. And if I get a rejection letter, it gives me nothing to go on as to why my manuscript was rejected.

    Something more comical: I fear subbing so much that I’ll eventually send to all the editors and agents out there. They’re going to recognize my name (and not in a good way). They’ll roll their eyes, thinking NOT THAT WOMAN AGAIN!


    • Dear Juliana,
      Thanks for writing. The fear of getting no response is completely understandable. Try to visualize this. There is a publisher looking for you and your work. See yourself finding this person and/or publisher. There are thousands of people in your same shoes that do not get responses from publishers and agents. Many times they do not look at the names, they look at the manuscripts. If it doesn’t meet their criterion, whatever that might be (hopefully their website guidelines describe what they are looking for). The Age of Computers (improvement over typewriters) has greatly increased the number of writers who submit their manuscripts. Study Jeff Herman’s latest guide to Publishers, Editors. and Agents. He tells more about publishers and agents’personal likes and dislikes. You may get a better feel for it. The main thing is to keep your belief in you and your manuscripts alive. If this means, self-publication for a book for you. Do it. If this means, taking a vacation from submitting for 6 months, do it. But, keep the belief alive within you. Listen to your heart. God will tell you what to do and where to send your work next.

      Believe in you.
      Never Give Up


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