Knowing When Your Story is Ready to Submit

Knowing When Your Story is Ready to Submit

Letting go of our work can be one of the hardest steps of the writing process.

Often, we avoid submitting our work because we’re terrified of what others might think.

It’s never good enough in our eyes.

So, we enter a cycle of never-ending revision and editing in the quest for perfection.

But perfection doesn’t exist.

So how do we know when our story is finally ready for others to see?


Your story is ready if…

  • There are no major changes left to make
  • Your instincts are telling you it’s ready
  • You love it so much you can’t stop working on it
  • You’re inventing problems to avoid facing criticism and rejection

Allowing others to see your work can be a difficult thing.

We want our stories to be perfect before we send them into the world.

But eventually, we must move on to the next project.

However, there will be times when your work isn’t ready to be seen by others.


Your story is not ready if…

  • It doesn’t have a definite ending. Work on sharpening your plot and tying up loose ends. Leave only those that continue on in a series. Never end on a cliffhanger.
  • Something doesn’t feel right, but you can’t put your finger on it. Set it aside until you can look at it objectively or find help. Sometimes we just need a fresh pair of eyes.
  • Your story doesn’t grab the reader’s attention until several chapters in. If you can’t create interest, perhaps you should cut the beginning and start where it gets interesting.
  • You’re so sick of it, you never want to see it again. Set it aside and come back to it when you see it from a new perspective.
  • It doesn’t have enough conflict and suspense to carry the story and keep the reader’s attention. Perhaps it would be stronger as a short story instead of a novel. Or maybe you need to study the craft and apply what you learn.

Finishing a book is exciting and scary, especially if it’s our first.

We often lose ourselves to the fear of criticism and rejection.

But seeking perfection only delays the inevitable.

Focus on giving your best, then set your story free.

Don’t let fear stand in the way of your dreams.

We all improve with practice, but we have to keep moving for it to happen.



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Renea strives to help writers develop the focus and skills they need to finish their first novel, offering writers practical writing advice they can apply one step at a time.

She is the author of Conquering Writing Pressures: Living a Balanced Writing Life in a Busy World where she helps writers find the courage to accept life will never be perfect. And if we want our dreams to succeed, we must fight to make them a reality.

She currently lives in St. Joseph, Missouri, with her husband Joe, her three children, and her five lovable furballs.

From a young age, Renea was mad for books and reading, and especially loved Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, which she read in the ninth grade.

She is an avid reader, with her main interests residing in history, mythology, and fantasy, along with some romance and science fiction in her earlier years.

When Renea’s not writing, she enjoys genealogy, role-playing games, and dreams of traveling the world. In a past life, she plucked chickens and milked cows.

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3 thoughts on “Knowing When Your Story is Ready to Submit

  1. Pingback: 6 Ways Writers Self-Sabotage Their Success | Renea Guenther

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