So, it’s the last day of 2019. I awoke this morning to find a rejection letter in my inbox. I say “good riddance” to this past year, although it had a little publishing success. It was better than 2018 in that regard.
I’ve got a young writing partner. She hasn’t published anything yet, but she’s one of the natural best writers I know. We encourage each other when the going’s rough. She ended up in the hospital in 2019, and when visiting her she got me to submit some stories again. Facing an illness will do that to you.
Of the stories I sent in during 2019 two were accepted for publication and one won honorable mention in a contest (but alas, wasn’t published). I sent out a bunch more late in the year and this morning’s rejection may be—it’s too early to tell—the last of blessed 2019.
I don’t let my failures stop me from writing. I’ve got a fourth nonfiction book under contract and nearly ready to submit. While waiting to get the research books read, I’ve been coming back to fiction again. One of my resolutions is to post here more this coming year.
The thing about failure is that it helps to read the stats of others who’ve faced rejection. Most of the truly impactful fiction ever written was rejected multiple, multiple times. Editors are only human. And humans have likes. And dislikes.
Although you can’t tell by looking here, 2019 was a very busy writing year for me. I’ve got tons of stories in the works. A new plot came to me just this morning, before opening that fateful email. If I let rejections stop me, I’ll be giving in to the swirling cesspool that was 2019.
Some of us write, looking toward the time after we’ll be gone and some relative, or executor will poke around our hard disks and find something that might be worth submitting. It may be a macabre way to start a new year, but for struggling writers, whatever it takes will have to do.