The Overwhelming Freedom of Rejection

Until I figure out how to make a “Blog” page, separate from the Front page, this will have to do. I am not going to jump in to revising the site until I decide what I want. But I have something important to share with you today.

I have been regaling the readers over at Here’s The Clean with my writing exploits all year, but I decided, if I am going to try and make my “main” website a more viable face for my writing, I need to do the talking about writing over here. So, I am taking all that away from them (though hopefully, they will follow it to this site) and giving it to you!

I should recap a little. My New Year’s Resolution this year — one of them, at least — is to try and write at least SOMETHING every single day. (No, blog posts are not supposed to count, though they sometimes are all I get done.) I started out with that goal in mind, and began submitting more than I have in years.

Well, about a month ago, my husband ratcheted things up a notch by challenging me to get 300 rejections this year. Now, this is not to say that I am sending out dreck that I know will be rejected because I didn’t follow the guidelines, or just threw stuff together to make my numbers. I am obviously HOPING for acceptances every time I send something out. But his permission to fail has been most invigorating.

Let’s look at the pros:

  • I have sent pieces to markets I never would have dreamed of approaching, like The New Yorker and Asimov’s, because if I don’t get accepted, hey — that’s another notch on my tally.
  • At the peak of my productivity, I was sending out 3 submissions a day (a convention, and then two weeks of illness have slowed that down a bit, but I am starting to work back up to it.) This has given me over 50 submissions out so far this year. And it is the 1st of March. Most years, I am lucky to get 30 all year.
  • If I get 30 rejections in a single month, my vegetarian husband is taking me out for a steak dinner. (I only had 10 for February, but I still got fajitas because I got a late start in a short month.)
  • Sending out a lot of material means that the likelihood of ACCEPTANCE goes up as well. I think my current numbers are 11 rejections/4 acceptances/1 moved on to second round of readings — that’s NOT a bad ratio of good to bad. And I am building up a body of work to send out again if it is rejected.
  • I have been writing more than ever. I have started at least three completely new short stories, finished three that I had started but never completed, and revised at least three more. And that isn’t counting the poetry, which is my main form of submission.

What are the cons?

  • I’m not getting as much housework done this year…
  • I haven’t wasted as much time on Facebook games…oh, wait…is that really a con?

I admit, there are probably balance issues I have still to work out, but simply having the FREEDOM to be rejected has empowered me in so many ways.

Of course, an editor pointed out to me that I would have to average about 6 rejections a week to hit 300 for the year, and I didn’t start until February, so it is a long shot at best.

But the editor who told me that…? She accepted a story from me.

Keep writing!


About RieSheridanRose

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2,  and Killing It Softly. She has authored twelve novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. She tweets as @RieSheridanRose.
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4 Responses to The Overwhelming Freedom of Rejection

  1. Newell Rose says:

    I’m glad to hear it’s working out for you. Sorry, I can’t help with those rejections. I’ll always accept you.


  2. Dan Thompson says:

    re: the Facebook games…

    As I recently told my wife, “This writing habit is really starting to effect my World of Warcraft performance.”


  3. Way to go, Rie.

    It’s hard to step out of our comfort zone. Nothing like dinner out to motivate!


  4. I LOVE your husband’s idea. Getting the freedom is fail is fantastic!


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