Rejection, Rejection, and More Rejection

In December 2016, I started submitting short stories to magazines. A year later, I’ve had about thirty rejections and two acceptances, published by Flash Fiction Magazine and Body Parts MagazineYou’d think that after a couple of publications – or even many more than that – receiving acceptances would build up and submitting in general would become easier.

Oh, how wrong I was to think that.

While not all my submissions (there were many more stories that were rejected and then abandoned), these are the current ones, two awaiting responses, along with a third that I’m trying to search for a magazine to submit. Nowadays, I expect rejections. In the past, it would’ve crushed what remained of my battered spirits, but what I’ve seen from other authors and writers is that rejection is part of the process.

It might seem devastating when receiving that apology letter, but it can be seen as a good thing. You take a step back to see what to do next time, how to improve, gearing yourself up for the next round of writing. My first ever submission was about a mysterious door that led to dangerous and dark things, and I assumed the editors were wrong when they rejected it, but comparing it to my current stories (while some aren’t quite fitting to some magazines) I had much to work on. My writing has grown over that time, experimenting with different ideas, showing that trying new things could be the path to take.

Some people might see that as a way to change their genre or ideas, which if you want to do that, that’s great, but write you. Use your voice. There will always be people out there who want to read it. And even though it might take weeks, months, even a year before we’re published again, each rejection is a stepping stone towards an acceptance.

If you’re looking for places to submit, some resources to aid you include:

4 thoughts on “Rejection, Rejection, and More Rejection

  1. Audra Edmonson says:

    Wow! First of all, thank you for sharing this. It can’t be easy, but you’ve inspired me hugely! I have lots of short stories bouncing around, but I always want them to be perfect before I submit, and I think that goes along with a fear of rejection. If I’ve done my best, and they reject me, that means I’m not cut out for it, right? I know that’s not right, and rejection happens to every writer, even the best ones.

    I’m totally going to make a spreadsheet. What an awesome way to keep track. And I’m definitely checking out those resources.

    • Kat says:

      I’m glad to have inspired! I’m a perfectionist too, so even when I’ve submitted a story, the inner-doubt comes out wondering if I should change things. I still try to think that, even if a story is rejected a few times, it doesn’t mean it won’t be suited to any magazine (unless, say, it got rejected fifty times – then I’d question whether I’d need to go back to the drawing board!) so keep prevailing!

      So great that you’ll make a spreadsheet. Organisation helps with all the things rushing about in your head. I’ll have to keep an eye on your blog to see if you get accepted! Do you have any works published anywhere already?

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