I attended a great dinner with other writers this past week. There were eight of us, and several folks asked questions to get feedback from the others, which is how this group works each month.
This isn't going to change any time soon, but it's something we can all try to be mindful of. We all know we shouldn't be comparing our successes and failures to those of other people, but it's hard to avoid since it comes naturally to many of us.
And, for the record, I post my submission stats each month on my Insecure Writers Support Group posts. I can assure you I get far more rejections than I do acceptances. To give you a more realistic view of it, here's a summary of my submission stats since January:
Total submissions sent out: 36
Total acceptances: 9
Total rejections: 24
Note that the numbers won't line up, because I had some out for submission already at the beginning of the year, and have a bunch pending now. Also bear in mind that I had a higher rate of acceptances this year over last year, and that those numbers are atypical. Last year I got 80 rejections and only 6 acceptances for the entire year. I submitted a total of 95 times for the year, so I sold 6 out of 95 stories submitted in 2017.
I've also been querying a novel. So far, I've gotten 2 requests for the first 50 pages, both rejected after I sent them. Plus 14 rejections and 5 I've assumed rejected after no response.
Persistence matters more than a lot of other factors. I send a story back out within a day or two of getting a rejection.
Anyone who thinks I don't get discouraged is dead wrong. I frequently get discouraged. Some rejections hurt more than others. The stories I think will be The Ones fall flat once submitted. The ones that seem like a hard sell often sell the quickest. I definitely don't have it all figured out yet, and I've been doing this for several years.
Don't get discouraged. Don't compare yourself to other authors. Don't beat yourself up when you don't perform quite how you think you should. Instead, set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate the wins, even the small ones.
Do you find yourself in a slump and beating yourself up too often? What do you do to get out of it? Do you track your submission statistics?
May you find your Muse.
*Sad Scarecrow, clker.com, OCAL
*Quality Control: Rejected, clker.com, OCAL