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.To 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.
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.