Over a year ago I exceeded 1000 submissions and had intended to post on that milestone, though I don’t remember actually doing so. Well, I just passed 1500, and I’ll post about it now!
When I began this enterprise I could not conceive of such figures. I was feeling my way, certainly, and increasing the frequency of submissions over time as I dropped into a working mode. A rejection comes in, I log it, redirect the story to some other appropriate market, and log that, both in personal records and at Submission Grinder (it’s great to be able to cross-reference the two for accuracy). Wait, repeat as necessary…
This is not the place to look at the statistics, that comes up on a couple of months when I reflect on the fourth year of the project, but 1500 submissions down is quite an achievement. It’s also a frank acknowledgement that over 1300 of them have been rejections, as well as that there is absolutely nothing unusual in this. It’s how the industry rolls these days, a fact of life.
I have no intention of quitting, and see myself in another year looking back on stats and saying similar things, but I would certainly like to break into the novel field. Short stories are an artform all their own, but novels are where the proper money can be found (unless you find a way to sell consistently to the pro end of the short story industry, which is a mystery to most). I have a number of novel ideas in hand, but picking the right one to develop in the current market is a matter of research, thinking it through, then committing to it. I’ve not completed a novel in many years, so it would be something of a renaissance for me.
1000 submissions was not even a bump in the road, it went by quickly in the flurry of work, and I don’t think I marked the occasion in any way. Perhaps this time I’ll raise a glass of something to the possibilities of tomorrow, before getting my head down over the next story. Because there’s always another story to write, another market calling for submissions, therefore another opportunity to make a mark, earn a few bob, and add to one’s professional capital before searching out that agent or publisher for wider endeavours to come.