100 rejections: August update

Okay, so it’s been a while. I’d apologise but I’ve wasted enough time already.

For nearly a month nothing has changed on this website. Don’t let the post dates fool you, WordPress lets me cover up my mistakes. I’m still reading the same books and everything.

What’s the excuse this time?

I have been doing the boring ‘sell your time for money’ thing. While I now have more money, I haven’t written as much. No real surprises there, I guess.

Having realised how little writing I’ve done, however, I’m now trying to make sure I give these things the time they need. Tonight was the first time in a long time (yes, probably about a month, smartarse) that I decided to sit down and work on this.

The result? Two submissions and this blog post (I also subscribed to Lighten Up Online, which looks like a pretty fab poetry journal).

The conclusion? I need to dedicate time to getting stuff done.

Why does it take you nine months and everyone else five minutes to work it out?

If I knew that, I wouldn’t be in this situation.

Obviously there’s been the thought that I won’t get to 100 submissions for a while. I think as early as April I was telling myself that it was going to be more like 50 for the year, which is fine. However, I’m not giving up just yet. I’m still going to push though, and see just how close to 100 I can get.

With that said, at one point I had to address that I would need to do a submission every two days for the rest of the year to reach 100 submissions. In my mind, this seemed like something that could be done if I committed to it. I did commit, in my own way, then promptly submitted nothing for a month.

Oh well.

Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?

Overall? Pretty good.

This has been a famine and feast project. Sometimes I’ll have nearly ten submissions out and nothing comes back, and then some months (like last month), I wind up with three things published. It’s weird, and it feels a bit like it takes the shine off of things when they all come through in a clump, but it’s still exciting to have done it. I’ll take proper stock at the end of the year, but for now I’m proud of what I’ve done rather than miserable about what I haven’t.

Give me the numbers

Okay fine.

Total submissions: 35

Rejections: 17

Acceptances: 8 (none outstanding)

Pending: 8 (1 is being held for consideration)

Lost/abandoned: 2

Prognosticate for me daddy

It’s halfway through September when I’m writing this, so I’m already thinking about what I’ll do next year.

The 100 rejection project was meant to do two things:

  1. Make me less upset about being rejected
  2. Get me writing more

It has definitely met the first goal. I’m pretty unbothered by rejection now (although maybe I was in the first place) and it has been interesting to go through the process so many times.

In terms of more writing, not so much. I mentioned before about half an hour of productivity lead to big outcomes. Which led me to the awful conclusion that I should have reached nine months ago: I won’t write unless I force myself to sit down and do it.

And I mean, duh. That’s not news to anyone. But that reminds me that maybe there’s some part of me that hasn’t been committed enough to this as a project (which is why it’s so far behind you stupid Turnip).

So why have this ridiculous goal hanging over my head all year without caring so much about it?

I’m very much just writing my feelings out here, but there’s a big gulf between writing something short and sharp that you have a 90% of getting submitted somewhere and writing something that you think might be a bit stickier and have some more staying power.

Quality or quantity?

When I was submitting to Farrago, I would write ~350 word satire pieces. That’s one every two or three months. What I’ve realised is that I could write one of those every day of the week and find somewhere to have most of them published. That seems insane to me. So the issue isn’t so much getting published as it is writing the things that you want to see published. Things with a little more substance take far, far more time.

Near misses are the worst

I submitted something and was rejected (that’s the goal!) but I was very frustrated because the notes on the rejection were things I had already worked out for myself while waiting for a response. To to see someone articulate what I had been feeling was pretty frustrating. What it showed me, however, is that I have a good sense of my own work, and what needs to be fixed in it, so that’s something. Doesn’t get the story out there, but you know.

Pushing through with imperfection

I don’t believe that perfection exists, which sounds like a cop-out but really it’s about accepting that nothing is an ideal process. So I have a story that has problems, and I know it has problems, and I’m not sure what to do with it. To me, fixing them involves a rewrite. The voice is wrong. The ending doesn’t work. It needs to become a much larger piece of writing.

But, I have this little project going and I kind of want to keep on putting it out there. What do I do if it gets accepted somewhere though? Am I happy with it going out into the world in its current form? I’m not sure. But losing the momentum to redrafting sucks as well, so it puts me in a bit of a bind, or something like that.

I’m not sure of what the answer is. I’m not even sure that there needs to be an answer either. Maybe it’s just that there are two things and it doesn’t matter which one you pick.

Basically I have a lot of thinking to do about writing and what exactly it is that I want from it. In some ways, this has been a confusing exercise.

So that’s me, I guess. Reflective, still shooting for rejection, and finally deciding to make more time to write. Hopefully this place will see a little more life in it towards the end of the year. 

Onwards and upwards!

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