Okay, it’s time for the August 2013 edition of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Apologies for not participating in July, but I was pretty ragged with Odyssey writing that week, and my blogging was down to the minimum.
It’s nearly two years now since I last submitted anything to a publishing market. At the time, I told myself that I needed to concentrate on the craft, but really, that was probably just my insecurity, finding a way to avoid rejection. Well, I’ve definitely learned a lot about the craft of writing, and I while I was at Odyssey a lot of people told me that I should be submitting a lot, that I was ready for it. Jeanne told me, Sheila Williams told me, Nancy Holder told me, I think Patricia Bray told me, the resident adviser told me and my fellow students told me. So I’m doing it. I’m going to submit again before August is finished, and I’ve set a tentative goal of reaching 42 new rejections in the year after I left Odyssey.
Part of what I’ll need to get me to that goal, as well as a willingness to face the rejection again, is a willingness to accept something short of an ideal perfection in my writing. Basically, if a story’s as good as I can make it right now, then it doesn’t get to sit on the hard drive for months as I learn more about writing; I pound the digital pavement and start sending it out. Yeah, I’m going to learn more about writing in the meantime, and use what I’ve learned to write better stories; maybe I’ll be able to revise something in between rejections, or maybe it’d be better not. But I can’t let the process bottleneck at the end. Keep writing, keep revising, keep submitting.
I think this is a great attitude to have. I need to adopt it as well!! I kind of like your way of looking at it, too – “I want at least 42 new rejections by end of year”. I mean, you probably won’t get ALL rejections, but still, it’s a nice “light” attitude to have while still getting out there & submitting work!
Yes, that was one thing I got from Jeanne, and I really like it, of having each rejection get me one step closer to a goal. She was talking about 100 rejections, but I’m not sure if I can manage that in one year, since I have so few stories that are ‘as good as I can get them right now’ already.
LOL; that’s the spirit Chris 🙂
I’m a big fan of perseverance. I know it works cause it changed my whole life, as described in my book, Tails of Sweetbrier. One thing to remember with rejections is that it’s only one person’s opinion. It’s not a national decree! If you keep writing, you will succeed! If you don’t what change do you have of achieving your dreams?
The market is such a crazy crapshoot. The odds are against any one story getting through, but the fact is, some do get through. Some editors will like your style, voice, and subject matter better than others.
My experience of the last couple of years of subbing and sometimes striking gold is that the more you have out and circulating at once, the better it is for you. Obviously the more stuff you have out there the better your chances of getting something published. This is something that Dean Wesley Smith talks about with the whole “race points” theory. But I think there’s a psychological effect too.
When you’ve got one or two stories ready for market and they are out there, if (realistically “when”) one story gets rejected, that’s 100% of 50% of your effort shot down. If you have ten stories out, and one gets rejected, that’s 10% of your effort. Much easier to handle. I’m sure you get the picture but bottom line, pushing yourself through that early threshold of one or two stories out and getting into higher numbers is the hardest part of the submitting deal. If your confidence is at all dodgy I would even suggest building up a small cache of three or four stories and sub them all at once rather than have that one vulnerable story sitting there on the market waiting for its rejection.