08 May 2013

pep talk ii: making friends

Dear Submit-O-Ramers:

We are now midway through the second week of the May Submit-O-Rama. Already some of you have had success, and others have already received some of those pesky rejection letters. Some of you have met your goals thus far, and others are already slipping behind. Some of you are having a blast … and some of you may be ready to blast your submissions to smithereens.

May Submit-O-Rama: Making Friends (Pep Talk II)

Notice I said “some” … not “someone.” No matter where you are in the Submit-O-Rama, you are not alone. Yet this is the point where some of us probably feel a little alone. We’re not sure where we should be submitting. We’re not sure if we’re doing something right or not. We doubt whether or not we’ll see any good results before this whole adventure is over. We miss the familiar comfort of our writing nooks. The fact of the matter is, the submission process is often a lonely one, because most often we are in it alone. But I want to remind you: that’s not the case this month.

Part of the goal of the Submit-O-Rama is not only to get individuals submitting their work more than they have in the past … it’s also to engage in that submission process in unison. As a writer, part of what drives me is engaging with other writers. That’s usually in the writing process (you have no idea how badly I miss getting together with some poet pals and banging out a few poems in communion with each other), but it can also be so very helpful in the submission process. To have at least one other person who, when I get a rejection, says, “Don’t worry—I just got some, too. We’ll get accepted somewhere soon,” means so much. One dear friend from grad school is, in my opinion, well on his way to being the next big thing in poetry; even when he’s getting accepted seemingly everywhere (that’s an exaggeration, but seriously, he’s great) and I’m getting rejected seemingly everywhere (another exaggeration, but you get the point), he manages to make me feel like I’m two seconds from being the next Poet Laureate. Having just one person there to support you in this hard work can make all the difference.


That’s why this challenge comes with outlets for sharing your experience with others. The forums you can access at the top of the page were first created back in October, when the first Submit-O-Rama took place. Community has always been a big part of Our Lost Jungle—creating an encouraging place for writers to not only get advice but also find support—but when it came to the Submit-O-Rama I wanted to make sure there was an extra space where folks could share questions, advice, resources, and more. Whether you’re having a hard time figuring out where to submit next, or you need some encouragement after a rejection, or you want to share the joy of a recent acceptance, or you’re just looking to procrastinate for a minute in the midst of this challenge, the Community Forums are there for you! And if things are a little quiet in your challenge forum … well, what better time to get the conversation started on your own?


Today’s task, and your task for the rest of this week, is to hit up one of the Submit-O-Rama forums and start sharing with some of your peers. If you think of this as a camping expedition, your challenge forum is your “tent,” and everyone taking part in the same challenge is your bunk mate. If your tent is a little quiet, go campfire on the situation and join in another tent’s party. Also, don’t forget the Facebook Event Page, where some folks have been sharing their experiences so far in this event! Share, like, comment, and embrace the community of Submit-O-Ramers you’re not officially a part of!

Your Turn: Where do you go when you need encouragement with your writing? Share your support strategies and resources in the comments below, and then stop by the Community Forums and start chatting up your tents!


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Check out the six Our Lost Jungle Submit-O-Rama Challenges!:


  1. I'm not much of a chatter when it comes to my poetry. When I need support, it's not for rejections, but dithering on submitting, on whether a poem is ready. I have four possibilities to turn to: my husband, for a non-poet opinion, my son for a poet's opinion, and a good cyber-friend, for straight talk from a poet.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Margo! I admit, I tend to do better sharing my poeming experiences over a meal than over a modem! I love that you have multiple sources of feedback ... and especially that at least one of them is a non-poet perspective, which I think writers often overlook as a source of valuable opinions!


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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