I realise it’s closer to the end of January than the start, but it’s closer to the start of January than the end. I’d only just remembered I had a wordpress site (and I haven’t done anything with it in years) and I felt like setting up a blog felt like a good way to make my new year’s resolution concrete.
The resolution was an odd one, but there are reasons behind it. In 2017 I resolve to receive 20 rejection letters from publishers or agents. These have to be rejection letters from stories/manuscripts I send in good faith to appropriate markets, where I think the story/manuscript is good enough to publish.
What’s the point of this resolution? Basically just to punch a hole in the fear of failure. One of the hardest things for me in writing is moving from “I have a thing I’ve written” to “I have a thing I’m sending to publishers”. There are several reasons for this being hard to do, but one of the biggest ones is that if you never send your work to anyone you never get rejected by anyone, and rejection is hard. Even when it’s well meant, even when the rejection letter is complimentary, even when it’s just because they had 10 slots for stories and yours was number 11.
However, being afraid of rejection means you remove the possibility of acceptance, and acceptance feels bloody good. However however, acceptance isn’t something you have complete control over. In previous years my resolution has been “I’ll get something published this year”, and sometimes I have and sometimes I haven’t, and when I haven’t I’ve felt discouraged because I’ve failed. So what I’m going to do this year is different. I’m actually seeking out the failure.
Every time I send a story out and get rejected, I’m one step closer.
Every time I Get told an agent isn’t interested in my novel, I’m one step closer.
If I do get published, that’s brilliant, and it’s more likely because of sending more stuff out, but that doesn’t let me off the hook. I’m still going to send letters out. And I’m going to document them here.
Because if a stupid thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing thoroughly.