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Posts tagged ‘Rejection’

Update – End of October 2015

Not much new on the submission front. A couple more rejections came in the last few days, including my first from The New Yorker. Very cool, right? Here is the update:

Submissions: 7
Acceptances: 1
Rejections: 32

I am falling behind on my submissions. I haven’t had a chance to send out the stories that have come back. Need to do that soon. But it looks like I may hit 40 by Dec. 31, so that’s pretty good. I knew I wouldn’t come anywhere close to 100 for the year, but hey, if you’re going to aim – aim high.

One thing that concerns me is that we are moving into the holidays. It’s that time of year when everyone is taking vacation. Things tend to slow down and some publications aren’t open to submissions.

Also, me the writer needs to take a much deserved break too. Always take time to be with your loved ones. You never know how many times you’ll get to be with them.

So now is the time of hibernation for a lot of publications. Ah well, I can be patient and wait for the right place for my stories. I’m not a big fan of sending stories to anyone or anywhere. I am much more precise with my submissions. I don’t want to waste the editors time or my own sending something inappropriate. Why would that work? I don’t think it would and I think it makes you look unprofessional. (Just my opinion, of course.)

Good luck to those that are dong NaNoWrimo this year. I thought about it, but since I am already deep into my novella, I decided not to go for it. I’d rather finish the projects I’m already working on. They should have a month dedicated to that. A month for finishing stories, but I guess you’re supposed to do that every month anyways.

Anyway, happy writing!

It Begins Here – One Year, One Hundred Rejections

"To Do" Board

“To Do” Board

Well folks, we are half way through the first month of the year and already the rejections are piling up. Just today I got two more. I’ve been thinking – How am I going to keep track of my progress? I can keep a running tally on my “To Do” board. (See above pic.) But I also want to keep track of my progress.

So I’ve decided that every month on the 15th and the 30th (25 for February) I will post an update on my rejection process. Remember, I’m trying to hit 100 by the end of the year. Will it work? Who knows. The point is to get me to submit, submit, submit.

Here is my tally as of January 15, 2015:

Rejections: 4

Acceptances: 0

Pieces still out for submission: 5

Ah, so small! I need to submit more, but since two came in today, I haven’t had a chance to send them out. Hopefully by this weekend I can get them out, along with three more. So by the 18th, the “Submission” line should be 10.

One big problem is my very bad habit of writing long hand. With the exception of longer works, I almost always write the story out by hand. Now, many of the stories I wrote last year need to be typed up. I’ve been slacking on this and now I have 2 stories written (with notes and everything) that need to be transcribed. And at the end of a long day, the last thing I want to do is spend more time in front of the computer. That’s why writing long hand appeals to me. I don’t have to sit at the computer. I can write anywhere and don’t feel like a zombie.

Still, I think 4 rejections is a nice start. One came as a form rejection. Two were the “if you haven’t heard from us by X date, you can assume you are rejected”. But the last was a personal rejection, with the editor saying he enjoyed the story, but competition was tough and my story didn’t make the cut. He ended the note telling me to please submit again (I definitely will.) and wished me luck.

See, that kind of stuff makes this challenge fun.

Oh, and I’ve noticed that I have a few more people following this blog. I just wanted to say “Hi!” and thanks for stopping by to read my blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts on my life as a fiction writer. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it.

And for kicks, I leave you with my submission tracker that hangs on my board. This was not everything I submitted in 2014 (I only started tracking pieces during the summer.), but it is the majority. I know, I know. I’m so high tech…

Writing Pics 001

Final Post for 2014

Last post for 2014. What a year it has been. As I write, my last story is almost done. I still need to write the ending, but I have one more day left in the month, so time is not up yet. Barring any serious distractions, I should be done by tomorrow afternoon. So finishing 12 pieces for the year completes one goal I had for 2014. This doesn’t even count the numerous short critical essays, fiction, and analyses I did for class. Plus the posts I did for this blog. At last count I wrote about 8,000 words this year for the blog. All that stuff is just bonus material. Who knows when I will have to whip out my thoughts on Chekhov’s Gustav.

Anyway, let’s review the goals I had for the year.

Goal #1 – Finish 12 short stories for the year and one long piece.

I have 12 (or 11 and ¾) pieces finished. I say “pieces” because I did write some personal essays and submitted them for publication. I figured essays took just as much time as a short story, so they should count. My longer piece I did stall out on, but I will get back to it sooner or later. I have a lot on my plate right now, so I’m not in a hurry to get back to the story. It can wait.

Goal #2 – Sell one short story.

Done and Done. Saw my first story in print this year.

Goal #3 – Read at least 25 books this year.

Got through 16 this year. Considering that I only read one while I was in class last semester, I think that is pretty good. My last class was purely on short stories and I read 100-200 pages a week. There was just no time to read stories for class and other books.

Goal #4 – Buy no new books, unless I get gift cards.

Yeah, that goal is a bust.

Goal #5 – Get my credit card balance down.

Truthfully, it is only a little higher than it was last year. I pay down the balance, just to see it go back up again with my school tuition. But I don’t have anymore classes to pay for, so I should see some real progress this year.

For 2015, I have some new goals:

Goal #1 – Write 2 new pieces a month.

I managed to write about one a month, so I can up my game and make it two. It will be tough come spring because of thesis, but I’m going to try. Maybe more flash fiction…

Goal #2 – Finish a longer piece.

I have a lot of other projects I need to get to work on. If I really want to scare myself, I write them all down. I have ideas for days. But because of school, I have to put them on the back burner. Hopefully after this spring, I can really devote some time to these longer projects.

Goal #3 – Teach myself how to format, design a cover, and upload a book for self-publishing. This is something I’ve been thinking about over the past 6 months. I’m really curious about self-publishing and would love to give it a shot. Might be fun.

Goal #4 – One Year, One Hundred Rejections

I’m going to try this challenge. I goal is too get 100 rejections over the course of one year. Even if I don’t hit the number, that is an insane amount of submissions for one year. Way more than I did in 2014 and 2013 combined.

Thoughts on Rejection

One thing you get used to as a writer is rejection. Exactly, one year ago I got the harshest rejection letter I have ever gotten. Over the years I have gotten every kind of rejection: a form rejection, a nice, well meaning letter, a detailed, helpful note, and finally nothing at all. But I never got anything mean.

That was hurtful and something I consider unprofessional. I don’t think I will ever submit to that market again (And no I won’t name them. People change frequently in publishing, so I don’t want a publication to have a bad reputation from my one negative experience, esp. if that reader/editor is no longer there). It depressed me and you can see the results. I didn’t post here for months. I loved the story and to have it and myself insulted was tough.

By April, I pulled myself out. In truth, I didn’t really write much in January through April. I didn’t do much at all. But the warm spring days brightened my spirits and I was back at work soon enough. I wrote more stories and submitted.

Nine months after that harsh note, I got my first story accepted.

I write this because I think the worst has happened in my submitting. My fear about writing (that someone will completely hate my writing and tell me so) was fully realized.

And I survived.

If I had given up after that rejection, I would never be where I am today. I wouldn’t have all these new stories written, my story in the anthology wouldn’t exist, and I would probably be an unhappy person thinking that I should be writing and submitting. But now, I am ending this year on a good note. I pushed through the tough moments and was able to experience the good. That is the lesson I take with me into the new year.

I’ll see you in 2015!