Rejection and the Velocity Challenge

Nowhere does “Trust the Process” feel as shaky as it does when I contemplate submission and the inevitable rejections. I know logically that even top writers have their work rejected. I know it takes hundreds of submissions to get an acceptance. But I’m still hesitant.

This weekend Dean Wesley Smith wrote about “Rejections” and Seth Godin put out a podcast for Akimbo called “Publishing is Hard.” I recommend both as spine-stiffeners.

Right now our plans are to make 2020 ‘The Year of Publication.’ (Yes, Steve and I give each year an aspirational title. Doesn’t everyone?)

At this point, we have a contract for a gaming supplement we need to deliver in early 2020. Steve has a contract for an academic book he needs to finish plus another RPG adventure that has gone through its first round of acceptances. I intend to start up my indie press, Jeweled Sea Press, and publish the Thule adventures as well as a few other stories by Steve and Max. I also plan to write three novels and ready them for publication, as well.

Then there are the short stories. By May 20, 2020, I will have about 60 short stories completed. Too few of them are in the system being rejected by editors. Only three are in the pipeline now. Last year I submitted stories just 15 times. If 2020 is the Year of Publication, I need to submit all my stories and keep submitting them. Which brings me back to rejection.

Rejection sucks, but that isn’t the hard part. The hard part is getting over the self-rejection that keeps me from sending out stories.

In January that changes. I am heading for a velocity rate of 25-50 short stories in the mail at all times. Starting in January I will read my short stories and make a decision for each. It either gets submitted, gets published indie (Thule series), or is rewritten as a novel. Any story that doesn’t deserve one of those three fates gets retired. That is my Velocity Challenge for 2020. I’ll report here on my current velocity and the rejections I accumulate along the way.

Friends, I hope you also have high hopes for 2020. Dare greatly!

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