Tag Archives: rejection

One year, 125 posts, and beyond

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of this blog, which I started as a way to improve my writing, to document things that interest me, and to put myself out there. As of this, my 125th (!) post, I have written 18 posts about specific science topics, 7 science fiction book reviews, 5 writing prompts, and a bevy of posts about artists, methods and photography. I wrote an 82,000 word novel draft in April and May (editing pending the completion of my PhD). I’ve written maybe a dozen short stories, and pushed myself to be a hard self editor. I’ve joined writing forums and critique groups like critters.org and youwriteon.com.

I think the results show, at least in the form of determination, which is needed as much as talent in writing. Since I started keeping track in  June, I’ve submitted stories 21 times to 18 venues, many of which I found through the submission grinder, which I describe here. I’ve been rejected 15 times (ouch!) but after months of very little traction, I now have 2 stories in the second rounds of consideration at paying venues. A third story, which has been rejected 5 times, has been called a “good story” by two rejections. Having seen enough rejections, I now know that’s a nice compliment!

Before this last year, I worked on improving my writing, but in aimless, unsystematic ways. Now, in spite of major distractions like finishing up a PhD, I am seeing more progress than ever.  I wonder what I’ll be up to this time next year; I know with the efforts I’ve put forth in the last year, and those I plan to put forth this year, the future will be exciting.

Learning about Graphic Novels and Publishing from Barbara Slate

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I attended a talk by comic book writer Barbara Slate (at the VA Book Fest). She was one of the first female comic book writers, and has since branched out to her own graphic novels. After her talk I picked up one of them, “Getting Married and Other Mistakes“. It looks like a lot of fun, and like Slate herself, seems to have a nice sense of humor. She also has a book about how to write graphic novels.

She also spoke about the process of getting “Getting Married” published. She said that she was rejected about 60 times. I didn’t pay attention to that detail much that day. I wrote Monday about my own excitement, that I perhaps had a publisher interested in Zish and Argo. After further research, it looks like one of those pay-to-self-publish rackets, dressed up. I felt so duped! I was so excited, and they misled me. Fortunately, I figured it out quickly and for free. I channeled my frustration to overcome my fear of sending the manuscript off; on Monday after my realization I sent the manuscript to 5 places. Afterwards it occurred to me–if a woman like Slate who is familiar with the industry, knows publishing and knows people takes 60 rejections to place her book– then people aren’t going to be jumping out of bushes to publish me. It will take sober, dull work for me to get published, just like her. As it likely will for all of us. Please, may some eager publisher fall from the sky and praise me, but it’s not something I can expect or even take at face value. So last night I thought up a new story for Zish and Argo, and I will continue the slow marathon towards my goals.