May 06

Clicking Send

Is there anything more terrifying in the world than clicking send on a submission email? For a writer, probably not. Sure, pits of snakes and being buried alive are mildly terrifying in that abstract how often do you even see a pit of snakes sort of way, but clicking send happens every day, people. Every. Day. And, it never gets easier.

Whether it’s a query letter to an agent, round 2 of revisions to your editor or a proposal for more books, it’s always scary to send your work out into the world. So, what’s a bad girl to do?

perf cosmo

Yeah, that always takes the edge off of the send anxiety. But, the best thing we can do is have a strong submission along with that strong drink. Be prepared to click send by having your critique partners pick your submission apart. It’s better to have a friend find that embarrassing typo than an industry professional. Once that’s done, and you’re pouring that drink before sending, take comfort in the fact that you’ve done all you can do. Your submission is as shiny as you have the ability to make it. It’s time for your little book baby to fly away from the comfortable nest of your computer. Fly free, little book baby. Fly free.

Flying Books

It seems like send-o-phobia, (Yeah, I totally just made that up. And, now I’m really hoping it becomes a thing) is caused by one of three things.
Fear of success. What if that agent wants the full manuscript, and then I would have to send it?
Seriously, bad girlz? This is what you want. Send it!
Fear of failure. What if that editor laughs at me? What if that last book was the best I can write?
Bad girlz, in my opinion, no one book is going to make your career as an author. You know what will help you have a great career? Writing more books. Send it!
Fear of change. What will I write next if I send this?
Girl, you will write another book…and another…and another. But, you won’t do any of these things unless you do one very important thing first—send it!

At the end of the day, it’s all fear. Fear comes in many forms, but it’s the same no matter how you slice it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to let fear rule my life. Who knows what will happen? But, you’ll never know what might have happened unless you click send.

Why am I thinking about send-o-phobia? Today, I will be clicking send. I’ve polished my submission until the blinding shine of it is painful. (The sparkles! My eyes, my eyes!) Even knowing that, I’m nervous. It’s a frightening prospect—people reading what we write. But, that’s the goal, that’s what we want! We want readers and without sending our words off to fly free, they’ll remain locked away, unable to entertain readers on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I know I’m as ready as I can be and I will not be ruled by fear. What about you?

Do you have send-o-phobia? Let chat about it.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand click.

~E. Michels


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  1. Heather McGovern

    Actually, a pit of snakes isn’t that harrowing…as long as they aren’t poisonous. Hitting send? Terrifying! I vividly remember talking to myself (out loud, of course) before I hit send to who is now my agent. I read the email, read the partial, re-read the email, re-read the partial, got up to get some wine, re-read the email, checked the email address, and re-read the email. There’s some SERIOUS obsessive behavior that goes on with us writer folk. We’re a little crazy tbh. ;) Finally I said, “Oh for the love of God just hit send, you gigantic spaz!” *click send* *shotgun glass of wine*

    I hope every writer knows they’re not alone in their fear or anxious behavior. It’s okay. We’re all in this madness together. :D

    1. Elizabeth Michels

      It’s really sad how anxious we get over such a small action. I re-read, check, double check, pray, hold my breath and click. No one is alone in this madness. All writers do this. I’m pretty sure even really successful, famous authors do this. We’re all nuts. LOL

  2. Sidney T. Blake

    Ya know calling it ‘send-o-phobia’ sure sounds better than thinking myself a wuss. Thanks for helping me feel less alone.

    1. Elizabeth Michels

      You are NOT a wuss, Sidney! You write words and that alone, makes you brave. Sending those words scares everyone. You’re aren’t alone. So, go send whatever it is you’ve been afraid of! :)

  3. Lori Waters

    It’s as if you’re on the phone, and we are having this conversation in person. I’m going through this right now. As you know, I SO get send-o-phobia. It’s good to know its normal. At least normal for writers..lol Not much about being a writer in normal :)

    1. Elizabeth Michels

      It’s totally normal, Lori! And one more thing…SEND IT! ;)

  4. Sydney

    Yes, I definitely have it, too. I never feel like my submissions are truly ready, then I keep second-guessing myself that I shouldn’t have sent it yet…..and the cycle goes on. It’s hard to fight it, but I’ve got to. Great post!

    1. Elizabeth Michels

      I think second-guessing comes as naturally to writers as procrastinating on the internet. LOL

      I had a professor once who said the hardest thing about art is knowing when to call it finished. I think this is true of writing as well. But, at some point we have to call it complete and send it in. So, send away, Syd! :)

  5. Jeanette Grey

    It’s weird – by the time I hit send, I’m usually so sick of the thing that I’m delighted to be rid of it. My moment of terror is more pronounced as I’m starting editing, or as I’m about to send it to CPs, or as I’m writing the query letter. The terror is still there, though. Definitely.

    1. Elizabeth Michels

      I think it is possible to be so sick of it that you just don’t care anymore. I’ve sent some questionable versions of docs before for this reason, but usually I get nutty. LOL As long as we work through the terror at whatever point we experience it, we win. :)

  6. Jenna P

    I’m with Jeanette. Hitting send doesn’t usually bother me. For me the fear comes in starting a new manuscript. What if I don’t feel as stongly about this MS as I did the last? What if I don’t get as good a response from this one? I had that terribly when I started plotting again. But I think I have that beat.

    Congrats on the submission!!

    1. Elizabeth Michels

      Thanks, Jenna P! Staring at a blank document is a whole different kind of fear. LOL That deserves a blog post as well…writers really are crazy, aren’t we? It’s an emotional roller coaster, that’s for sure!

      And, BTW, your new ms is awesome. You are awesome. And your writing keeps getting more and more awesome. :)

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