Writing–Reading Goals/50 Rejections Results

Fiction S-Z (a sequel)

I set myself two goals for the years. I wanted to get fifty short story rejections and I wanted to read twelve books. The results were mixed, but honestly, it was an overall fail for both goals.

First the fifty rejections. That was kind of a lofty goal, in retrospect. I tend to submit in bursts and I really didn’t have enough completed short stories to make this possible. Even the short stories I wrote during the year weren’t really enough to make up that deficit. Even though I scaled back the goal to twenty in November, it still wasn’t enough. As of right now, I garnered seventeen rejections for 2012. An improvement over last year’s total for sure, but far short of my goal. I think next year I’ll be a little more realistic and shoot for a more obtainable number.

The reading goals I set for myself were pretty specific (if you remember; I didn’t…I had to look them up). Not only did I have to read twelve books, six of them had to be fiction and six of them had to be non-fiction. Of the fiction books, at least one had to be in a genre I don’t read. Of the six non-fiction books, one had to be a memoir and only one could be a re-read.

The good news out of this is that I ended up reading a total of twenty books and I did read a couple of genres I normally don’t read. The bad news is that I failed in the non-fiction goals.

14 1/2 of the books were fiction (Margaritaville had both short stories and essays so I counted it as half). 5 1/2 books were non-fiction, falling half a book short of my six book goal. Two of those books were re-reads. And I didn’t manage to read a full on memoir.

So while I read more fiction than I usually do and read more overall than I have in a while, I totally bombed the non-fiction portion of the goals. I think next year’s goals are going to reflect that and my need to achieve balance.

Overall, I’m pretty disappointed with my lack of achievement. I’ve got some work to do next year.

Writing–December Projects

Snow Cat

December is always a screwy month for me. I’m coming down from NaNoWriMo, I’m dealing with the holiday gauntlet, and in general my time and energy is in flux. I never know what to schedule for myself during December because I never know how this roller coaster month is going to work out. I either give myself too much to do, decide to take on projects that are too ambitious, or I don’t give myself enough and I end up feeling like a slacker.

I’ve decided to err on the side of slackerdom this time around. I think I’m going to end up working on some Outskirts stuff. I’ve got a Paxton story I’m working on and some ideas for some Maisie Day stuff. I’ve got this idea for a couple novellas as written by Maisie (since she is a writer, you know). I think that’s what my morning project is going to end up as and I think I’m going to revise and cut down the Ivy novel I wrote over the summer to be one of Maisie’s. I’ve also got an idea for another one, but I haven’t done anything with it yet.

Working on all of that is both productive, but also low-commitment in a sense. There’s nothing urgent about it.

I will also continue my quest for rejections. It’s because obvious that I’m not going to meet my goal of 50 by the end of the year since I’m sitting at 15 right now. But 20 is within reach and I’ve got five stories out and four ready to go. If I finish the revisions on “Just Visiting” (I’ve already done most of the heavy lifting), that’ll be five. I didn’t submit at all in November, didn’t even really look around much. I need to finish the year with a final burst.

Trust me. It only LOOKS busy.

Writing–50 Rejections Update

English: Logo of the band Rejected Español: Lo...

We’re about half-way through the year and my goal of getting 50 rejections. I’d love to say that I’ve already made that goal. I’d love to say I’m even half-way there. Unfortunately, neither is the case.

In fact, I haven’t even broken double digits.

As of right now, I’ve gotten 8 rejections, 2 acceptances (“Soul Sister” which is up at Suburban Fool now and “Powerless” which should come out next year), and I’ve still got 6 short stories out that I’m waiting to hear back on.

I admit it. I haven’t been as productive as I hoped I’d be.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I HAVE been productive, just not so much on the short story front. But when it comes to the short stories, yeah, I haven’t been as much of a go-getter when it comes to sending them out. I’ve got 5 ready to go and a couple of them have been sitting there, waiting, for quite a while.

I’m back to that hang-up of struggling to find an appropriate place to send them. Obviously, I read guidelines and I try to adhere to them as closely as I can. I don’t like to waste people’s time. But I’m not the greatest judge of my own work and I’m sure that there are pieces I could submit to places, but I’m on the fence on whether or not they fit. They could, but then they couldn’t. That indecision is probably costing me in the rejection numbers (and possible acceptances).

It’s something I’ve got to work on, for sure.

I’m not giving up on my goal. Sitting here now, it looks like I don’t even have a shot at it. And that’s kind of a bummer. But I have trouble quitting on things, even if they are long shots. I’ve got to see them through until the end.

And this is one of those goals that even if I fail, I’m still going to be better off than if I’d never tried in the first place.

I’ve just got to keep going.

Writing–50 Rejections

Sometime last month it occurred to me that I should try to get 50 rejections this year.

Now let me explain.

There’s someone I follow on Twitter that counts her rejections. She tries for a lot more in the course of a year (like 150). In the course of those rejections, she does manage to get some acceptances. And after watching her do this for a year, I thought to myself, what a great idea.

So naturally, I stole it.

I need something get me going and keep me going when it comes to writing/revising/submitting short stories. It’s like I go through bursts of productivity with them, but never fully commit to the constant progress. Aiming for 50 rejections will help me do that.

In order for me to obtain my goal, I need to be more proactive. I can just rely on sudden bursts of time. I can’t let stories languish on the shelf. I can’t just stick to the horror genre to submit to, especially since it’s not the only genre I write in. I’m going to have to broaden my horizons and be more dedicated to my work.

I’ve already got my first rejection for the year (also my first acceptance) and I’ve still got four stories out. I’m on my way. Now I just have to keep moving.

This doesn’t mean I’m solely after rejections. I’m not going to be sending out any stories that aren’t ready to go just to meet my goal. The idea is that I accumulate my rejections through the legitimate act of trying to sell my stories and get published.

I admit, it’s kind of daunting sitting where I am right now. I’ve kind of got a plan in place. I’ve got stories I’m working on. I think that once I get a few more stories out and I rack up a few more rejections, I feel better about this challenge.

For now I’m just going to keep my head down, keep working, and try not to think about it.

Let’s get those rejections flowing.

Writing–February Projects

February is being dedicated to the short story now that I’m finished with the initial (and crappy) rewrites of Spirited in Spite. I’ve got this goal of getting 50 rejections this year (more on that next week) and it’s really spurned my creativity in regards to my short stories.

So here’s my short story To Do List this month:

-Revise/Polish “At 3:36” (I’ve already done initial edits in changing it from 3rd to 1st person)

-Revise/Polish “An Active Sleeper” (I think I’ve figured out how to fix this story)

-Revise/Polish “Everybody’s Time” (I wrote it at the end of last month)

-Review “Powerless” and revise/polish if necessary (It’s my first rejection of the year)

-Write “Notorious” (about the survivor of a serial killer)

-Write “Hear It?” (about a person suffering from auditory hallucinations; title may change)

-Submit any stories that are ready.

I’ve got a couple of other stories (“Anniversaries” and an untitled one) that I could revise if I get the time, but I’ve left them off the list for now simply because I’m not sure what to do to them yet. The stories need tweaking to make them work, but I’m not sure what the tweaks should be. I’m sure it’ll come to me.

Ideally, at the end of the month I’ll have at least four stories that can (and hopefully will be) submitted.

Gotta keep producing and submitting if I want those 50 rejections.