Still here, being rejected

I admit, I’m not doing a good job of keeping up with the blog these days. Largely, it’s a lack of things worthy of pulling up an editor and blogging about.

I almost had a break through recently with my writing. Almost, because after being held for consideration, the story was ultimately rejected. It was a fine rejection, and knowing I made it past the first cut was reassuring – but in the end, it was still a rejection.

What’s a person to do?

Keep going, of course. I don’t send stories out because I want to be famous or think I can make it rich. I send them out because I want to do something productive with the stories that keep tumbling out of my head, and because I think other people might enjoy them. I’m sending to (mostly) professional markets because if I can, I’d like to be compensated at a professional rate for the time I spent.

But the rejections still sting, I won’t lie.

First issue of Amazing Stories, art by Frank R...
First issue of Amazing Stories, art by Frank R. Paul. This copy was autographed by Hugo Gernsback in 1965. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The best I can do is to keep submitting. In addition to magazines, I’ve also been submitting to a few contests. I have a story in for Michael Sullivan’s Death at Dulgath contest (reward: winner is published at the end of the book), one into Amazing Stories for the Gernsback Contest (reward: ability to apply for SFWA membership even if it’s your first sale), and the Orbit contest (reward: feedback from Orbit editor and Karen Miller on your fantasy novel sample). And that’s on top of the dozen or stories that are floating around waiting for replies.

I’ve talked about trying to get published for years, but I think this is the first year that I’ve made a real effort, both at perfecting the stories before sending them out, and at persistently sending them after rejection.

I read recently that Kevin J. Anderson once won a contest of who had the heaviest pile of rejections (he has over 800). I may not always like what he writes, but I can respect that sticking to it pays off in the end.

As for this blog – I’m still posting, just less often. Think of it as my way of ensuring that the blog entries you read are actually worth your time, given how rare they are.

141 Days, my new record

Reading ANALOG Science Fiction and Fact magazine

Well, it was bound to happen. After 141 days with Analog, my story Button Pusher was finally rejected today. I have to admit, I was actually a little surprised in the end. At 141 days I’d begun to think that maybe this was the one that was going to make it. I have a post scheduled to go live this afternoon pointing to an article about when to call it quits at writing, and when to keep trying (and how).

I’m not bitter, I’m not giving up, I’m still doing, but yes, of course this is disappointing. And yes, I’ve already brushed it up and sent it out again.

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Best rejection ever!

Yes, the pixels are still wet on the latest rejection of my comic fantasy short story. So why am I super excited? Because after the formulaic (paraphrased) “We’re sorry, you’re story doesn’t meet our need, and we receive too many submissions to be able to write notes on each individual story” (very paraphrased, btw), there was a note 🙂 And the note can be summed up with “This story isn’t for us; send us more, and try these publishers for this one.”

External validation is always an ego boost. Unless, I guess, your ego is already too big, then its not.

happy happy joy joy 🙂