Countdown to 200 rejections

It seems like only a year ago I was counting down to 100 rejections.  Wow, it was only a year ago.  My time flies when you’re getting thrashed.  But that’s not the way to think of it, not at all.  Rejection is part of life as a writer.  Good writers get rejected a lot.  Great writers get rejected a lot.  Stephen King’s first few novels were all rejected; 12 editors turned down Harry Potter.  Ray Bradbury had 300 short stories published–but he wrote 3000.  Rejection means you’re putting your work out there.  Rejection means you’re trying. Nonetheless, rejection does suck, a little. Sometimes a lot.Accepted1To set the stage, I’m a published short story writer, mostly speculative fiction of various stripes, with a little historical fiction and borderline literary thrown in now and again.  I’ve been published 13 times, with 2 more under contract.  But to earn those 15 acceptances, I’ve also collected 190 rejection letters, emails, and automated responses.  Sometime in early 2014 I should hit number 200, so between now and then I’ll be counting down the last 10.  Who knows, maybe I’ll get another acceptance out of those 10–when I counted down to 100 last year, I got an acceptance at 99(!).

Wish me luck.

CR Hodges

PS Rejection number 190 was on a paranormal-mythica mashup piece, “Sunset, Moonrise.” A kitsune and two were-coyotes battle it out in the Colorado mountains. It’s been rejected 16 times, but also got several “close but no thanks” responses so I’m not giving up. Got a nice non-form letter response, which is better than most.

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11 Responses to Countdown to 200 rejections

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Good luck, CR. The heart always beats a little faster when the rejection isn’t a form letter (note). It means that someone actually took the time to really read your work and offer a comment.

  2. CR, I always preferred a rejection to no response.
    With your 15 published stories you should be about ready for a self-published collection (assuming you’ve got the rights back for all of them)

    • crhodges says:

      Tim, agree 100%. Re self publishing, I have ideas on eventually releasing themed collections–Mars, Valkyries, ghost stories–at some point but no immediate plans, As you know, it takes a concentrated effort on marketing (understatement) to go the SP route, and when I do self-publish I want to do it right.

      And yes in general short story-ists retain the rights for story sales after some period at least (I do / will have all of mine from sales to date).

  3. Pingback: Rejection countdown: #191 | CR Hodges, Author

  4. crhodges says:

    Rejection number 191 arrived already. That was fast. Over it.

  5. Pingback: Rejection #194: Short answer | CR Hodges, Author

  6. Pingback: Rejection #196: Another contest | CR Hodges, Author

  7. Andy McKell says:

    All you can do is keep going.

    I agree that a personalized response means something. I tend to reject form letter rejections – I’d love to send it back with REJECTION scrawled across it… maybe when I’m famous 😉

    (Are there really 2700 Bradbury stories out there, unpublished? I’d love to read them!)

  8. crhodges says:

    Exactly. And yes I’d love to read some of those Bradbury unpublished stories too.

    As to personalized rejections, 33 out of 196 rejections (so about 15%) were either personalized or at least indicated I had made it to the final cut or some such.

  9. Pingback: Rejections 198 and 199: one after the other | CR Hodges, Author

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