Several years ago, I came across the idea of aiming to get 100 Rejections in a Year (probably not due to this article specifically, but this one is a good reference point all the same), and it really struck a chord with me. Not only because I believe one of the best tool a writer can ever have is the ability to take rejection and criticism in stride, but also because there’s an underlying path for success in there somewhere.
Unless you’ve had an unprecicidented amount of luck in your publishing pursuits, you probably don’t need me to tell you that sometimes, it can feel like a real crapshoot out there. Sending out your work sometimes can really be just a matter of the right story finding the right editor at the right time, a perfect storm of all the stars aligning, if I can be excused a mixed metaphor. I’ve had stories get rejected dozens of times, only to have someone finally pick it up just when I was about to give up on it. But the fact of the matter is that is that while there’s a good chance your story will be rejected, there’s a possibility that it won’t be, and it’s those moments you have to keep in mind when you send out as much work as you possibly can. Eventually, it’ll find the right person at the right time.
So the idea is that, statistically, if you’re sending out enough work to get to 100 Rejections, you’re sending out enough work that some of those pieces might actually be acceptances. The more you send out, the more likely you are to have something approved, so while it seems negative at first, there’s actually a positive flip side to it. You’re putting yourself out there, striving for the rejections…but being all the better off to get an acceptance instead.
It’s worked fairly well for me in the past, though I’ve never actually gotten to 100 Rejections (I was in the 90s one year, though, I think! And that was easily my most prolific year as well). Last year was kind of a mess (although not nearly as bad as 2020!), but I still managed to net 26 rejections for the year. No acceptances, unfortunately, but I honestly thing it’s a miracle I even managed to send out as much as I had.
This year, I’m back to focusing on reaching that 100 Rejections, which hopefully means at least a few acceptances in there in the meantime. And since I’ve actually already received my first rejection for 2022, I’d say I’m off to a good start! 99 more to go! Wish me luck!