If you’re relatively new to submitting your work to literary magazines – or you’ve been doing it for a while and are feeling jaded – it’s easy to wonder, why bother? It’s certainly not for the money; the unfortunate truth is most publications don’t have the budget to pay writers (us included) and those that do can often only provide a nominal amount. So, if it doesn’t pay the bills, what exactly is the point? Here are some of our favourite reasons and benefits.
When I find a story that I really love I often like to hunt out the writer and stalk them - partly because I want to know more about them, who are they and what makes them tick, but also to read more of their work. You might relate if you’ve ever been moved by a piece of writing. There’s something fascinating about discovering the human behind a piece of art.
It might sound weird to want fans for your own writing, but gaining loyal readers who want more of your work is one of the most rewarding things for any writer.
Add it to your CV
If you have future literary ambitions of any kind, building up a list of writing credits can be very beneficial. Opportunities such as getting an agent or approaching a publisher can all be helped by having these credits under your belt. Not only that, it also adds a degree of legitimacy to your name as a professional writer.
Having said that, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re not a writer until you’ve been published. If you write, you’re a writer.
Practice makes perfect
Getting into the flow of writing and submitting on a regular basis will inevitably make you a better writer. The resulting progress comes not only from practice, but also the invaluable feedback you can often receive during the process, either from editors themselves or readers once you’re in print. In this way, you’ll find techniques for improving your craft and also home in on your ideal audience.
Motivation and confidence
Writing literature and keeping it behind closed doors can quickly become a joyless task. Having the recurring goal of finishing a piece and persistently submitting it can be super helpful for keeping up your motivation. It gives your writing purpose and a reason for you to keep going. Plus, as an added bonus, each accepted piece boosts your confidence.
Become a well-rounded writer
This one is a little hard to define. However, if you immerse yourself in this world you will become a better writer because of it. Finding new places to submit, discovering new writers and subsequently reading lots is all part of the process. You’ll probably also meet people along the way; making contacts, gaining writing partners and joining groups are all part of the fun and make writing and submitting a more social and enjoyable experience.
Whether you agree with these reasons or you have your own, keep at it and good luck!