I’ve been writing speculative fiction since June of 2019. Since then I’ve received 66 rejections and 1 acceptance.
Hey, wait a minute!
Yes, I know; I introduced myself on the main page as a speculative fiction writer, and made it sound like every other job existed in past tense. Well, I am a writer, it’s speculative, but there’s other work that pays the bills.
OK, back to it then.
OK, 66 rejections (as of March 2021) and 1 acceptance. That’s a 1.5% rate of submissions to acceptances, so not a great pace. But it’s also a 5.9% pace for stories written to stories published. So not too shabby there. I read somewhere that 1-in-20 isn’t bad when starting out. Sure, Dean’s ‘starting out’ is 180 stories a year and selling 9 of them. That’s ambitious.
Hell, I’m ambitious, right? This year I’m on track for a story a week being completed. That blows my 2020 production of three and my 2019 of four out of the water.
This is turning into a numbers post.
Yes, it is! 75 times I’ve put stories I’ve worked, scribbled, and played with out into the world to see what would happen. On average these words hit 4.41 different desks on their journey thus far. Well, a couple I haven’t heard back with, the acceptance (more when that gets closer to publication; oh, and it’s at pro rates, because I don’t submit to semi-pro or token markets. That’s its own post.) was picked up right off, and one story has picked up personal rejections from 12 different markets.
So the trick, besides not minding that it hurts, is to keep plugging away. I got nowhere writing a story every two months or whatever my average for 2019 and 2020 works out to being. Writing weekly stories pushed the craft further down the stream, hitting some critical mass of words and practice. I think I’ll just keep doing that, then.