Yesterday I stumbled into a website for writers called Lightning Droplets. The author of the blog created a challenge for herself called Submission Bonanza!: Racking Up Rejections, or 30 LitMags in 31 Days. She read a list of 100 ways to become a better writer; one of the list items was to “rack up rejections.” She admitted to herself she’d only sent in pieces to maybe 5 literary magazines. You can’t get rejection slips if you aren’t submitting anything. Nor can you get an acceptance. So she hopped to it and is on her second month of submissions. She’s even had an acceptance accidentally slip itself in.
For those of you reading this who don’t do this writing-submission-rejection cycle, this isn’t self-deprecation, I promise! It is a necessary thing when you write in earnest. Rejection slips are a weird source of pride, a kind of badge of honor. Stephen King used to keep his rejection slips on a nail on the wall in his bedroom. It’s called paying your dues and we all go through it. I’ve already received a handful of rejections, plus one acceptance. It’s just how it goes.
I think it’s a pretty cool idea. Question is, can I do it? I believe I could easily sit down and submit a piece a day to different LitMags. Problem is, I don’t have that much material. Yikes!
Here’s the deal. There are A-Z blogging challenges where each day your topic begins with a letter of the alphabet. there are 30 day blogging challenges where you just write a new post each day for 30 days. And so on. I hadn’t done any of those because I’m quite frankly not that disciplined. Plus, I’m writing a novel (at least, according to my writing coach I am). And I pay for my writing habit by setting up or even developing websites for people. And I’m known to leave the house on occasion. So I don’t know how often I could sit for a long while to write for LitMag submissions.
However. (There’s always a however, isn’t there?)
What if I wrote something new every other day? I figure if I end up with 3 or 4 pieces to work with I can get 12 to 15 pieces by the end of 30 days. Enough to submit every other day for 30 days. Or every day for 2 weeks. Something like that. Regardless, I’d be writing far more than I have been and that sounds pretty awesome.
I’ll keep you posted…
PS… That acceptance? It was for a TwitterZine called 7×20. It could be no more than 140 words, including my Twitter handle. One of the few times I’ve ever wished for a shorter name. Anyway, here it is:
Spinning and twirling on tippy-toes, the pepto-pink draped six-year-old giggled, unaware of the agency car in the driveway. @EdeeLemonier
— Seven By Twenty (@7×20) August 14, 2013