I just read a post on Darcy Pattison’s blog about setting a goal of 20 rejections per year. It wasn’t the rejection bit which she stressed, but she was saying that at least 20 times you’d have submitted your “baby” somewhere.
This idea was a twist to my goal of 4 subs per month — making mine 48 possible rejections (or never hearing back from), and I’d like to stress the possible part. Since I’ve been working on mostly revisions for the past couple years, my submission level has somewhat dipped; to be honest, it has very much dipped in the past two years. But my thought on that is that I am getting my story/stories stronger. Each month I feel that I learn new things about the craft of writing. This means I’m (hopefully) becoming a better writer, enough to someday stand out in the eyes of some cautious, but very supportive editor (or agent).
Thanks for the poke, Darcy. But I think I’ll pass on a Writing Rejection Goal, and go back to mere submission goals. I know the rejections (or worse yet, the ignorings) will come. I’m just more the-cup’s-half-full type of person. But 20 subs for 2010 isn’t such a bad goal to shoot for.
You’re right, you could just say it’s the submission goal that is important. EXCEPT that so many people take rejections so personally. And often after one or two rejections, they can’t stomach another submission.
I’m glad you’re a 20-Submission Goal person! But for those of us who cringe at rejection, we still need to be a 20-Rejections Goal writer. There’s room for both opinions!
(Wow! I got a response from my hero(ine). Gosh, Darcy!)
I’m not saying I don’t cringe at rejections. After each and every one, I go into a 3-5 day depression-slump. Does that fact stop me from writing new stuff, revising, or re-submitting elsewhere? Yes — for about 3-5 days, during which time I’m eating chocolate and watching sappy movies or reading things I wouldn’t normally read (like war-action stories) in order to recover.
So far, I’ve got 7 subs out this year. Slight, I know, but the year’s still young.
I remember that Jane Yolan once said that writers must have 12 (or was it 15?) mss out to publishers at any given time. That was my goal one year. Now I’m on a Darcy Pattison goal. Woo. (Is this like diets?)
(And, golly. I got cheered by Darcy Pattison.)
I agree: Rejections send me into a 3-day funk.
But you’re (officially) only allowed 3 days, don’t you know?