Everyone faces rejection, but this short story challenge is throwing rejection at me on a weekly basis and I have to say, it’s liberating. I have four stories currently submitted to pro-level magazine markets, making their way through this market and that market, and those four stories have been rejected five times in 20 days.
Every time I get a rejection, I simply submit the story to another market and continue writing the next story. On some days, I submit a past story plus a brand new story, all in the face of rejection. I think without the goal of 75 stories written and submitted, I may get discouraged, but I’ve found that with a concrete goal set, I’m able to focus on moving one story at a time towards the goal.
The hardest thing I’ve encountered so far is not the rejection, but waiting for a response. It’s not so bad with the markets that take from two days to a week to get back to you, but a lot of them claim to take months to reply. My way of coping with this is to simply not think about that story anymore and to just keep writing new ones.
The main advantage to this is it is helping my writing immensely. They always say that practice makes perfect, and although I don’t believe in perfect writing, I know that practices certainly doesn’t hurt. I believe this challenge will help me with writing full novels as well.
I know I’m only working on the fifth story, but I’m excited to see how the seventy-fifth story turns out and compare it to the first bunch. I know there will some pretty awful stories in there. Some may never see the light of day. But this is like target practice: you don’t fire one shot, miss, then give up. You fire and fire and fire until you get better with your aim, and then you may hit the bullseye from time to time. For me, hitting the bullseye is having an editor contact me about buying rights to one of my stories. In a year and a half, I will write 75 stories and take more than 500 shots with them. I think the odds are decent that I may hit the bullseye as long as I continue to practice and become a better storyteller.
Thanks for reading!
Maxwell Cunningham projects:
Horror novel: About half way done (shooting for about 50k words or so). This one is more intricate than I anticipated, so the release date has been moved to November/December.
Without A Trial 2: Out to first readers. Some positive comments so far. This one will be out in the coming weeks!
Projects I’ll release under my name:
Sequel to When Darkness Ascends: Expect this next installment of the adventures of Charlie Webster to be out in late fall.
YA Book Series: Finished writing what I think may be the first installment in the series. Still thinking about how I’d like to release this one. Once other projects are completed, I will focus almost all of my attention on this monster of a project.