Met with my writer’s group yesterday and as with most writer’s groups there are two things to do at every meeting: 1) Celebrate acceptances and 2) commiserate over rejection
In regards to rejection – so what? Remember – rejection isn’t a test score. If a story is rejected 9 times and then placed it’s not 1 for 10 – not 10% – it’s 100% because it’s placed.
I think we’ve all heard of J.K. Rowland’s “Harry Potter” being rejected 12 or 13 times – I believe Elmore Leonard’s record for rejections on a single story was 105 or so. On the flip side we all read things we’re pretty sure were were written in crayon or that the acceptance thereof was prompted by an envelope containing pictures of some Editor’s indiscretions in Tijuana with assurances to that self-same editor that there were copies – lots of copies – that might surface should a certain piece not see print.
It doesn’t matter.
All you can do is to write, edit and submit.
As far as finding markets I hear ya. At times everyone looks like a non-fit. And then stuff you think is a great fit – doesn’t fit.
I think all you can do is to try and observe a process/a system where you write the damn story and then submit it to 5 damn markets. Then write another damn story and submit that to 5 more damn markets. Or maybe have a “contest baby” where you enter it in contests every 90 days or so and see what comes of it. The particulars don’t matter- what is important is to observe a system. Write “hot” – submit “cold”.
Because writing is an emotional exercise we (me anyways) tends to treat submitting as an emotional exercise – in truth submitting should be an academic/intellectual pursuit – another day at the office.
I’d say submit MORE and not MORE PERFECTLY – pile up the rejections – they are badges of honor – proof of effort – and then it becomes less of an emotional exercise and more of an intellectual pursuit.
Also – like a predator – always be on the hunt – have your peripheral vision open for potential markets. You hear about them in odd ways.
The last laugh goes to the persistent. I have a couple more acceptances – once the contracts are in and signed/returned you can goddamn well bet I’ll post particulars here because those stories are 100% sold.
A wise man once told me to “Be original, believe in your talent, and persist”.
My name is Steve Passey and I persist! (… and occasionally use boldface type to make a point!)