Oddly enough, I have come to enjoy rejection when it comes to my stories. I send something to a publisher, then I have to sit and wait and worry. And its all silly things to worry about, really. Thing like..
– Did I follow their submissions guidelines properly?
– Did I word my cover letter well enough, or did I say too much?
– Maybe the publisher isn’t looking for stories about skeletons that fall in love with sea sponges?
Then there’s the wait. Some places are fast to turn it around. For instance Clarkesworld typically gets back to you in a day or two. Lightspeed the same. So far, Abyss & Apex wins the speed contest with a 4 hour rejection. But, not everyone is so quick. Typical turnaround is 30-60 days, though with electronic submissions these days, most get back to you in less time that than.
Enter Duotrope’s Digest. A valuable tool for writers to find someone for their work, along with a cool tracking tool to know what you sent to whom and when, as well as how long you’ve been waiting and what the average turn around time is. It’s not perfect, but it helps a lot and works better than the spreadsheet I tried to use at first. Problem is, I think at times it may be too much information. If you see that a market usually replies in 30 days, and you are on day 45, you wonder if they are holding the story for acceptance consideration, or are they just behind on their slush pile?
Finally, an email appears and you rush to open it. More often than not, even for published authors, its a rejection letter. 9 times out of 10 this rejection is the (often poorly worded) “Sorry, this didn’t quite work for me” type form response. Just print it and drop it in the rejection pile, and then send the story to someone else. But, it removes a bit of worry from your mind. So in a way, even rejection is a victory of sorts, because you can eliminate that from your list of things to worry about.
Of course, if you immediately send the story out to someone right after you get the rejection, you just start the process all over again.
I think all writers are masochists in some way. 😀
I received two rejections this week, one for “Last Man Standing” and another for “Goliath.” Not a problem. Just shuffle them off to someone else, print the rejection and add it to the stack.
Oh the glamor and glitz of being a writer.