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!
Monday, I sent off my non-fiction zombie bug book and got a rejection the very same day. So today (Tuesday), I sent it off to another educational publishing house. Many successful writers advise that persistence pays off. To be truthful, a rejection stings less when you have plenty of other work out seeking publication; you can’t obsess over one failure.
I feel I am playing Pokemon Go – I keep throwing my ball until I catch my target.
I am not a brave person, physically or emotionally. However, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and ring a small educational publishing house about their submission guidelines. I practised my ‘professional’ voice, because I tend to sound like I am twelve.
I really like my ‘Zombie Bugs’ book and I am tired of seeing it languish in my folders.
Guess who is sending the bug book off on Monday?
Sometimes you just have to take that risk. Even if they say ‘no’ to the bug book, I have learnt something new about myself. I can be brave, with a run-up.
My goal this Australian Financial year is to achieve 100 rejections. This means I have to send out stuff on a weekly basis, at least two submissions a week on average. Over a month, I lean towards submitting ten items or more. Over twelve months, that is 120 submissions, but that doesn’t mean 120 rejections.
Often, I never hear back from the smaller anthologies and magazines.
However, in the past month, I have received two very encouraging rejections for one story. One of the rejections pointed out that they thought the story was more suited to a younger audience than their target audience, even though they loved it. I found that comment exceedingly helpful, and I have now submitted that story to a children’s magazine.
As well, one of my stories is on the shortlist for acceptance into the Andromeda Spaceways magazine, having passed their three reading levels. If they have a space for it, it will be accepted. They informed me that only one in twenty stories get to this level, so I am pleased and excited.
These aren’t the only wins I’ve had over the past year.
With this in mind, I am already planning for next year, even though it is over two months away. I will still aim for 100 rejections, but I will also aim for a minimum of six acceptances over the space of a year – one acceptance every two months. And I hope to start sending out novels as well as short stories. I think a novel being accepted will count as three acceptances; what do you think?
I live in Southeast Queensland, Australia. Summer here is HOT and HUMID. It fried the drive of my previous computer. My incredibly talented husband replaced the drive, but as my computer was considered elderly at 6 years of age, the new drive wasn’t that great a match and I had to face the fact that I needed a new machine. *insert sad face here* I borrowed my husband’s tablet while sourcing a new computer, which was awkward to use and so I got a LOT of housework done over the past ten days.
It has been an interesting two weeks, which will give you an sight into the past two months. My husband’s car has ‘died’ twice … fuel issues and the starter motor was fried. I smashed up my car in the world’s slowest accident; it didn’t survive the insurance assessment, which says it costs more to fix than the value of the car. The microwave oven died and had to be replaced. One of my casserole dishes suffered a catastrophic failure to function and shattered while I was cooking dinner (a real explosion of flavour).
On the upside, my premature little great-nephew is now tube free. My sister’s daughter – my godchild – is in labour about to produce another family baby, Max! I received the sweetest rejection ever … my story was too adorable to fit into their anthology (that story is back out trying to find a home). I have come up with a great concept for another short story. My house is really tidy, for once.
Sorry for the quiet time. We will now resume normal service.
What a week! The high point was being picked from 10,000 entries to have my fifteen minutes of fame on a QWC billboard. I stalked those billboards until I saw my story … and then stalked them some more to get pictures.
I had a epiphany for a motivation for my antagonist in the train book. I haven’t been getting too many words down, just plotting how I am moving forward and getting my ducks in a row for the next big push.
I sent off several submissions and query letters this week, mainly for short stories and my nonfiction bug book.
Because of GenreCon, I have been working on a career plan, and now have a vague outline for a one year plan, two year plan, and five year plan. I was to work at diversifying my income. So, I am working towards making a submission for running a workshop next year (second half). I am looking at setting up a professional author website and starting a newsletter. I will be looking overseas for an agent (or two).
So, I have four books I want to be doing the rounds by the end of next year. I still want to aim for 100 rejections (and I am well on track to make that this year). I may self-publish a short story collection. And I want to be more helpful with the next anthology – which will help me with my own dabbling in self publishing.
On a social note, I spent a wonderful four hours with my fellow writer and a member of the Springfield Writers Group, Megan, going over our GenreCon notes and sharing titbits of knowledge. Even if we had attended all the same sessions – which we didn’t – we had different perspectives on what the panellists were saying.
Megan and me, getting photos taken for our marketing package for our anthology.
So, life is exciting right now. In the next two weeks, the writers group has the official launch of our anthology.