Why Getting Published Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint | Writer’s Relief

Feb 14, 2024 | Writing Tips

Why Getting Published Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint | Writer’s Relief

Like most writers, you hope to get your short story, poetry, or novel published. Your writing is good, so receiving an acceptance from a literary agent or editor should take no time at all, right? Not so fast. As experienced, savvy writers all know, getting published is a marathon, not a sprint. The experts at Writer’s Relief have the training tips and insider advice you need to pull ahead of the competition and make it all the way to the “I’m published!” finish line.

Getting Published: It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Be Realistic

Have goals that are achievable. Just as a marathon runner doesn’t try to complete twenty-five miles on the first day of training, you need to create a reasonable writing and submission schedule. Instead of trying to write an entire short story or chapter in a day, you might focus on writing several pages or only one page.

Set A Good Pace

At the start of a race, a sprinter takes off at full speed. But if you’re running a marathon, you need to set a steady, comfortable pace that you can maintain for miles. When you’re writing, you don’t want to rush through the process! Your work will need to be edited, rewritten, proofread, and formatted—and some of these steps might be repeated a few times before you get it right.

Sticking to a consistent submission strategy will also help you stay on track. Don’t send out a few scattershot submissions or give up after one or two rejections. The publishing industry standard for well-written work is to make 100 submissions—and while our clients often do better than this average rate of acceptance, we’ve also had clients get an acceptance at submission number 99! Instead of quitting after two, ten, or even thirty submissions, persevere and complete the full course.

Enter The Right Races

Marathon runners pick and choose the races that best suit their abilities and interests. For example: Runners who like long, flat courses won’t enter marathons that feature hilly terrain. And if they’re not used to exerting themselves at high altitudes, they won’t choose to run a 10K in Denver, Colorado.

In the same way, you should make sure your submissions are targeted to the right markets for your writing. If you’ve written a short story in the horror genre, don’t send it to journals that focus on romance. Likewise, your lengthy prose poems shouldn’t go to a literary journal that only publishes micro-poetry. And querying a literary agent who specializes in self-help books with your cozy mystery will just waste your time and theirs. It takes many hours of research to pinpoint the markets that are right for your work—and to eliminate the markets that aren’t a good fit. But when you choose the right “races” to enter, you boost your chances of winning an acceptance.

Have A Support Team

A successful marathon runner has a reliable support network: significant others, friends, family, fellow runners, and a personal trainer, just to name a few. Writers can also benefit from having a support team! Members of your writing group will help you review and perfect your work; commiserate when you get rejections; and cheer when you get an acceptance. Having an extra pair of eyes proofread your work and check the formatting will ensure your submissions meet publishing industry expectations.

For a more effective writing submission strategy, you should put some experts on your team: the research pros and submission strategists at Writer’s Relief! Sure, you can spend hours and hours and big chunks of your writing time trying to find the right markets. But the team at Writer’s Relief can do it faster and better. We’ll also proofread and format your work to industry standards! Here’s one time that you should sprint: Submit to our Review Board today and learn how to get published faster.

Whether you want to take the traditional publishing route or are thinking about self-publishing, Writer’s Relief can help. Give us a call, and we will point you in the right direction!

Question: Have you been making submissions like a marathoner or a sprinter?