Rejection, rejection, rejection...

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by deadrats, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Rejections sure do slap us back to reality and make us question ourselves and our writing. I don't think anyone can understand how hard it is to sell short stories until they try and sell short stories. But by the time you realize this you're in the thick of it. You've got to be getting closer, right? You don't want to give up, but everything starts to feel harder as you progress as a writer and better understand the industry. You just never know if it will be the next submission you send. You can send one more, right? It would all be would all be worth it then. How many more one mores is it going to take? How long will I do this? Do I have what it takes? I go through this all the time. I'm rejected all the time.

    And this last one hurts. I didn't name this one out of fear I might have to complain about it. Okay, I will for a second. This specific top editor said he already had regrets as he was rejecting it. The top editor at an awesome publication was conflicted over what to do about my story. What am I supposed to to with that? I'm trying so hard and smoking really good pot.

    I also think there's some thrill in the case. I know when submission widows open. I read their publications and I try and write like that. I love reading the short stories in journals and magazines. I know which places are super hard to get into and pay big money. I know the good publications that don't pay but I believe are worth submitting to. I'm writing better. I'm almost catching those editors. Our work can be in the hands of a powerful literary beast and still mean nothing. Seriously, why didn't he just think about it more? Why did I have to be rejected today? What's missing. It's maddening. But I have good pot.

    Anyway, I probably never would have got mixed up with all this if someone had told me how many times I would have to fail. But then when I made a big sale every rejection I ever got was worth it.

    I'm aiming sort of all over the place, but at the same time I'm careful about where I send my work. I have somewhat high standards. And what I want is to write at the level
    that is considered publishable in the literary world. I want to write at the same level I read on. I can't read everything, but I have sampled quite a bit from different places to get a feel for what they publish. I love being inspired by a story or understanding the world a little differently because of a story. We can do that, we think for a moment and then question ourselves for months to get responses. I read interviews with editors and follow them on twitter. Man, have I worked hard for all my rejections.

    @Krispee you are one of the best writers I know. For real, you can do this shit. I'll send you a list of places that are open and worth submitting to. If you want to try genre markets, I bet we can tag some people on here who seem to know the genre scene. I am sure you're going to be published and it will totally be worth celebrating. One of these times it really is making just one more submission. :)
     
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  2. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    Very kind of you to say so, I will certainly be looking at where to go with Funnel in the future, haven't given up on it just yet. As for any more writing at the moment I'm busy with my certification studies so no time to write but will get back to that soon as.
     
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  3. Zeppo595

    Zeppo595 Member

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    I was only ever talking about my own feelings about rejection. I don't see how that is discouraging. I'm still working on various projects. It might actually be helpful to some people to know they aren't alone in feeling negative or pessimistic. I never said anything about stopping writing. I never said anything about anyone else, actually. I never permanently stopped writing because I was rejected.

    Delusion is part of the process. In fact, delusion can be a great motivator. Just saying there's often a come down as well. That's all. It looks like you're taking it personally though, and it wasn't intended to be an attack on anyone but possibly myself.
     
  4. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    I guess you could say that we all have different ways of coping with the difficulties that writing for publication throws at us. It's hard and often demoralising, but we keep going because we love to write above all else.
    In the end it's just a different way of coping.
     
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  5. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Active Member

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  6. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Nice piece. I hate it when people who aren't writers use the J.K. Rowling reference. I have a friend who does it all the time. She thinks if J.K. Rowling can do it, there's no reason I can't. After all, she was waitressing and I think had young kids and pretty much lived in poverty. J.K. Rowling is not my idol. She's not the kind of writer I'm trying to be. Everything is different for each of us.

    Rejection is hard to take. And for short story writers it's basically a part of life. But I think you're a lot stronger than you realize. You're putting yourself and your work out there. And we all know how this goes most of the time. Most of the time we're going to be rejected. Every short story I've sold has been rejected in the double digits before it was accepted somewhere.

    I think you have thicker skin than you think. You haven't given up. You're here with us. You're writing and submitting. And I think a lot of writers know they're supposed to be writers whether they like it or not. I've wanted to call it quits before, but that never sticks. There are always more things to write. Our ideas can haunt us until we put them down on paper.

    And you have now had an acceptance. Hopefully, that fuels you to keep moving forward. We only get better, not worse. I've been published, but I'm having a hard time with my last rejection. I wanted this one so bad. I was so close. I hate that. I don't feel like I have thick skin. Rejection hurts sometimes. I'm trying to think that if I got this close at one place, another editor is going to like it. But, for now, I feel like poor me and want to bitch about it. Where is my thick skin?
     
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  7. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    It's not delusional for a writer to think their work can and will be published. It's not delusional to have high standards or high expectations. A writer needs to work hard to get their stuff published, but nothing about it is delusional.
     
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  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I put a new story out there on submission today. This is one I've been working on for awhile, but I feel like it's ready. This now brings up my total to 50 pending submissions.
     
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  9. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    I’m a little dozilluzioned - receiving rejection from a uni CW undergrad...well-deserved, s’pose :(
     
  10. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    ‘No, no, my dear you read me wrongst. I am a jewel crafted, and you see each rise and the fall? And, and not not NOT, and not your entertaining critique re coffee [gurgle w prejudice].’
     
  11. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A 230-day form rejection from Antioch Review.
     
  12. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Active Member

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    I’d entered a writing competition. Results were announced in an event in the USA at the weekend and I didn’t hear anything so I assumed I hadn’t got anywhere. Just seen now they’ve posted the results on their website. I’m not one of the 3 winners or the 7 shortlisted entries, as expected. But the website also lists a longlist, and I’m on it! I counted and there are 70 names on it, plus the 3 winners and 7 shortlisted, so 80 names. They say they had 376 entries, which puts me in the top 21% of the entries, so I’m pleased about that.
     
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  13. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A 45-day rejection from Witness.
     
  14. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Active Member

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    Actually I got that wrong. 3 winners and 4 others shortlisted, so 77 out of 376 made the longlist, so about 20%.
     
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  15. Lifeline

    Lifeline Going South. Contributor

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    Took part in a small-scale contest. We'll see.
     
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  16. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A rewrite request... this one is looking good. This time it's for creative nonfiction, but I'm happy and will be paid.
     
  17. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    Well done...hopefully ;)
     
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  18. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A 49-day form rejection from The Arkansas International.
     
  19. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Amateur Human Contributor

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    I've sent out a story to 4 places... i've gotten 2 rejections this month (one last night, actually). Still waiting to hear on the other 2 places.
     
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  20. Zeppo595

    Zeppo595 Member

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    Sent a personal essay - no reply

    Sent another essay out for feedback - no reply

    I think it was Bukowski who said, 'I might as well be sending these out to space' or something like that.
     
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  21. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Active Member

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    yes this is how I feel too.
     
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  22. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    How long has the essay you submitted been out? These places can take a really long time. My longest wait was 604 days to get a rejection. Some places only respond if interested, but they usually say you should here from them 90 days or six months. But many places that DO respond can take longer than that.

    It sure can feel like we're shooting our writing into space. Just keep in mind we're not. There is someone reading and considering our work. Long waits can be a good sign.
     
  23. HeathBar

    HeathBar Member

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    My first query ever is out, for the novel I've been writing for three years. Eeeek! Odds are I'll back here adding my rejection to the list, but feels good to finally be out there. deadrats - now I shall return to Object Lessons. :)
     
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  24. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Good for you putting yourself and your work out there. Wishing you lots of luck.

    How are you liking Object Lessons? Have you read the Carver story yet. Man, every time I think of that story I have this strong urge to read it again. Guess I'm going to spend the rest of the day reading in bed. It's one of those days.
     
  25. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    A 14-day form rejection from Black Warrior Review.
     

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