Submission. That word brings up a lot, doesn’t it? It has a variety of meanings and some of them don’t imply something good. Submitting brings to mind giving up of one’s power or self over to someone or something else. As a writer, the act of submission can bring forth the wonderful news of a book accepted or the forging of a new relationship with an editor, publisher or agent. It can also mean the dreaded rejection letter appearing in one’s mailbox.
While the act of submission may seem like one places themselves in a one down position, it can also connote something more divine. There is something fine, when mutual respect is part of the process, about receiving someone else’s thoughts or intervention on something tended. There is no such thing as living in a vacuum. There are few things we do best alone or in isolation.
I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that my idea or way of doing something is the best or only way to do it. Yesterday, my spouse suggested that we place the weed fabric down in a part of the garden differently than how I usually do it. I balked at first. It seemed as though my mind had already settled in and wasn’t going to get up again. I relented and the job, with her help, went quicker and much more easily. Glad I submitted to a different way of doing an arduous task.
Writing, like gardening, can be a laborious charge. Loving to do something doesn’t mean that it comes easily. The act of submitting can place one in a glorious position of receiving help. If instead of an apparent offer of help one receives a rejection it is probably a good thing. It means that person or situation wasn’t the right fit. It can be hard when the news is received but it might actually be a hidden blessing. It’s just that the other person saw it before me. That may be difficult to take because, remember, I like to think that I know what’s best for me.
It might also mean that my work is just not ready. A cake half-baked is a cake half-baked. A little more time in the oven can make all the difference to the finished product. Trial and error can show us that our oven temperatures are a bit different than what’s suggested in a recipe book. We get better as we continue to forge ahead in our process.
Mail that letter, click the send button, or make that phone call. We never know what’s around the corner for us. Unless we go check it out, we’ll never know. Submitting can lead to wonderful things that are in store for us from our personal warehouses of good fortune.
Has there been a time you’ve submitted a manuscript, plan, or idea and have been rejected- only to sigh a breath of relief further down the road? Share. We’d love to hear it.