I did it. I set a goal for getting 100 rejections over the Australian financial year … and I hit that goal a week ago. As well, I have had 6 acceptances in that time. How did having this goal affect my writing strategies?
I found it easier to keep track once I swapped over from a yearly submissions diary to a monthly submissions diary (an Excel spreadsheet). I aim to make 10 submissions a month … last month I got up to 15 submission (one every two days) but that isn’t sustainable. Two a week is doable, and that should add up to 120 submission over a year. Not every thing you send off gets an answer, which is why I send off more than 100. As well, I have to factor in acceptances – and they do happen.
In the first week of January this year, I made a list of 100 story ideas. This was to keep me on task; you need to write stories to submit stories. Of course, most of those ideas will never see the light of day. The ones that do are the cream, the ideas that rose to the top. Writing the list gave my muse the opportunity to dig deep for the really wild and bizarre ideas and I found those ideas were the ones with legs.
I keep a notebook with me at all times and write down every idea or snippet that comes to me. I find this particularly useful when I’m taking the train; you overhear dialogue without even wanting to! I go through a LOT of notebooks, and they always supply me with with nuggets of pure gold.
Since this is working for me, I am going to try for 100 rejections again next financial year. But my new goal is to up my acceptance rate!