Will I get published?

Will I get published?

Every manuscript or query I receive has an unsaid question attached to it. ‘Will I get published?’ Credit: Getty /iStock

I was recently talking to a writer whose work I really admire. Like most writers, he juggles many roles. Apart from writing novels, he runs a small publishing house with his friend. He also writes screenplays and provides digital marketing services.

When the man asked my friendly opinion on where should he submit his manuscript, I said apart from the usual biggies, there were a few upcoming publishers he could consider. What I found concerning was when he said, ‘But those are so big. If I get even one of them interested, it will be such a big deal!”

In the 21st century, I told him, getting published is easy, very. Printing is cheaper and faster. Besides, technology allows us to publish our work within seconds. So I told him the question is not whether he would get published. ‘Your novel is good Kamal, so I know  it will get published.’ Instead, I encouraged him to ask instead the more urgent question, ‘What do you want from getting published?’

The beautiful thing about the question, ‘What do you want from getting published?’ is that the answer is unique to who you are. The reason  I want to get published is different from why you want to get published.

In fact, I often remind authors I work with that when we are preoccupied with whether we will get published, it reflects a lack of confidence in our efforts, which is the only thing in our control.

I am sure you will agree that if you have done your best, you are least likely to get bothered about what others think of your work. Instead, if you are looking for reassurance, you will fell relieved at getting accepted and devastation at rejection.

Think of everything you have written (published and unpublished). Write down whatever you felt because of it, during, and after the writing. Write every feeling, even if it is recurring.

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When you look at these feelings, I am sure that you do not want to feel bad about your work and/or your self.  And, if you know what you want to write about and do everything you can to show that on the page, I assure you that you will worry less and enjoy writing more.

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