I recently looked at my list of short stories in progress and found a trend. It’s not a great discovery, nor is it a helpful trend. I’ve been writing the same story just in various guises. When I looked at the ones with the best feedback and the ones I liked the best, they were truly different. The stories have their own ‘voice’ and they resonate in a way the others don’t.
I won’t throw away the stories that follow the trend. I keep a folder called Broken Ideas. Most stories in that folder will work if I can combine the right something with them. It’s the finding that something that takes work.
Not Enough Rejections
The other thing I noticed was my number of rejections is low because my number of submissions is low. For 2019 I made 16 submissions, received 15 rejections and 1 maybe. I’ve seen recent rejection rates of 100:2 by writers who publish multiple times a year. That’s 100 rejections and 2 acceptances. My maybe is an outlier. Publishing is hard.
I need to submit more and receive more rejections. The difficulty is the time many markets take to decide. Three months or more is common. I’ll need at least thirty stories circulating to come close to publishing two a year.
My goals for 2020: Read more, write more, submit more, and receive at least 50 rejections.