Today I’ve spent my writing time doing what I’ve been promising myself I’d do for months.

Yes, I’ve actually gone on to (the website most poetry magazines use to manage submissions) and submitted five of my recent poems to literary magazines.  It’s a scary process and most likely no one will publish these poems.

But you never know.  The fortunes of poetry might be with me this week.  This last summer I was able to attend a poetry conference and did attend a few workshops on “How to Get Published.”  The stories are daunting.  One novelist described sending out nearly 200 queries to publishing agents before getting a book contract.  The poets tended to fair worse as there are fewer opportunities there.

There seems to be a certain alchemy where, skill, good writing, and landing in the right inbox on the right day is the magic combination – when you are blessed with an editor who will publish your stuff.  You rarely get paid.  The words “poets” and “starving artist” often are used in the same sentence.

So why try to publish?  Validation, and need are two reasons.  I’ve invested a lot of effort in my writing and I think these words deserve an audience beyond just my computer hard drive.  Perhaps that’s a bit egotistical, but there are days when I read a poem I’ve written and say to myself, “That’s good and needs to be shared.”

Validation is that other thing – perhaps the more common side of me, the part where self-doubt enters in and I just look at my work and say, “This is crap and I’m a horrible poet.”  Then there is that unspoken part of every open mic reading or poetry workshop I’ve attended: The “real” poets are the ones with published poems.  Of course that’s not true, but it is that thing that quickly separates a room into the published and unpublished.

It’s a kind of badge of honor.

And if just just one editor choses my work, then maybe, perhaps I could get that self-doubt to be quiet or at least take a break.


About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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48 Responses to Submit

  1. Good for you, Andrew. It’s a scary business. I’ve been rejected far more times than I care to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    All the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hooray for you for making a brave step! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christi says:

    I never had the guts to take that first step, so you’re waaaay ahead of me. (Not that this is a race.)
    Wishing you tons of good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dorannrule says:

    Fingers crossed that you will be published and validated for creative poetry. I have no doubt this will happen!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bravo! As I always told my kids when they were growing up, if you ask (in your case, submit your poems) your might get a no, but you will NEVER get a yes unless you ask! So keep on “asking” Andrew! The yes is out there…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Debra says:

    I can understand that validation leads to encouragement, and whatever our endeavors, we all truly value encouragement. I am glad to hear that you’re taking some new submission steps. You’ll get nowhere without those risky steps, so good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scary steps, but I’m trying to move forward. A few people at the workshop, including the teacher, thought this stuff was good enough. I think it good to honor their assessments and give it a try.


  8. Congratulations, Andrew! First step taken… Wishing you success!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mitchteemley says:

    U B real, Andrew!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. shelie27 says:

    Wishing you the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. dfolstad58 says:

    You are trying and that counts for everything in my book! Remember Theodore Roosevelt-It’s not the critic that counts…..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on this step. It is a biggy and I have my fingers crossed for you. I liked your analysis of why it’s important to be published.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. jfwknifton says:

    Good luck and I hope all five get published!!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Daya Bhat says:

    Before logging in to submittable, I take a deep breath and go for it. In spite of having a book to my credit and the next manuscript just accepted for publishing, I still feel the need to submit to journals that accept unsolicited poetry. I value all my poems published so far in this way as much as I value my book publisher. I can totally connect with what you have expressed here.
    All the very best with poetry submissions while I await two decisions via submittable (two submissions already rejected).

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Robin Dalton says:

    This is wonderfully inspiring and I’m so happy for you. That sounds awfully trite but I do truly mean it. I haven’t submitted any work since the dreaded cancer diagnosis but that’s been almost two years ago. I attended a poetry workshop recently which was encouraging and fun. Just reading about you gives me a little nudge to move forward. I wish you the very best, Andrew.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Good for you, and best wishes in getting those poems published!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. charlotteash says:

    I agree with Robert. Rejection doesn’t mean the
    poem isn’t good. It often means it’s just not a fit for the upcoming issue. Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. robert okaji says:

    Keep at it. Publication will come. When your poems get rejected, send them out again.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Best of luck. I hope you have some success. I am prepping some of my work to do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

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