My name is Rie Sheridan Rose, and I am proud to be an author with Mocha Memoirs as both myself and my alter-ego Tysche Dwai.
I have been given the privilege of being the blog writer for the 5th day of the month. For at least the next six, you will get my thoughts and advice on being a writer.
It's a tough road to travel, but I wouldn't want to be on any other. Ten years ago, I had just gotten my first books published with a small press, and I was taking my first tentative steps on the road while trying to hold a full time job. I was about to be married, starting a new household, and trying to keep writing whenever I had a spare moment. And then I was laid off, about three weeks before the wedding. My husband-to-be (who has been my rock and support for the last decade) made me a proposition. I could be a stay home writer if I wanted to be. He is a computer programmer, and makes enough in his career to support me in this endeavor. I know that most people don't get this luxury, but it isn't all moonbeams and roses either.
I have not been a very regular writer, even with the gift he gave me, but this year, I made a New Year's Resolution to write at least something every day. Most days, I have managed to do this. But at the beginning of February, my husband upped the game in a way I never would have thought would work. He gave me a challenge. It probably is an unachievable challenge, but it has spurred me to a great deal of productivity over the last month.
What was the challenge?
The challenge is to get 300 rejections this year.
Huh? Rejections? Why would anyone want those? Isn't the whole point to get acceptances? Well, yeah, everybody loves acceptances. But what I have found out is that having the freedom to get rejections has helped me have the courage to submit to markets that I never would have approached otherwise. Sure, I may get rejected--but that's no problem, because it just adds to my tally (which currently stands at 4 acceptances to 10 rejections. Not really a bad ratio) And if I get 30 rejections in one month I get a steak dinner from my vegetarian husband. :) The more important number is that I have submitted 49 pieces this year so far.
So, I make a challenge to you--if you write, shoot for a goal of 100 rejections this year (that is much more reasonable -- as someone pointed out to me, to get 300 rejections in a year, you must average 6 a week, and I didn't start until the beginning of February.) Submit to markets you otherwise wouldn't have tried. Give yourself permission to fail, but shoot for success. Send out your best work, as always, but send it to bigger markets. :)
If you are a reader, shoot for a goal of reading in new genres this year. Experiment with reading outside your comfort zone. You might find new loves.
I'll see you next month with advice and inspiration that will hopefully help you reach that goal. :)