I’m beginning to understand why the website for finding places to submit your stories is called The Submission Grinder. The rejections keep on rolling in – I got four more this week. I’ve resubmitted three of them and intend to have the fourth done by the end of today. I’m realizing that my goal of having everything resubmitted the same day it’s rejected was perhaps a bit lofty. It’s an achievable goal for the future, but at this point when I’m still learning what the different publications are, it’s a bit much.

I’m spending a lot of time reading their submission guidelines, filtering out the ones that don’t fit (e.g. they take fantasy but I’m not the right sub-genre, or they’ve got restrictions on the types of authors they’re looking for his month). I’m also trying to read some of their previously-published stories to see if mine have the right tone. I think it will get faster as I learn the magazines and have a better sense of the available markets, but it does feel like a bit of a grind right now.

The first rejection didn’t bother me, but I’d be lying if I said that them piling up doesn’t sting a little. I’m not a woman used to putting myself out in ways that invite rejection and definitely not in such an overtly pass/fail kind of way. This is a new kind of test for my self-esteem. I’m still feeling determined at this point, so that’s a good start. This would be a good place for my stubborn streak to show itself.

It helps to know that the numbers for acceptance are just low in general, it’s nothing about me. The Submission Grinder shows you the percentages of submissions that are accepted and it’s really low, like 1% to 3%. I’ve gotten five rejections, so I’ve got 95 to go before I can start being really upset about the statistics. I’m finding it super helpful to see those numbers and reassure myself with them. It’s a numbers game and a lot of luck. It’s not necessarily reflective of my capabilities as a writer.

I also made some progress on the novel this weekend. I neglected it all week but then I had a super productive Saturday, getting six chapters edited. It’s still mostly line edits I’m doing at this point, but I did do some small re-writes to increase clarity and resolved some notes I’d left for myself on past read-throughs. It felt good to do some larger, structural things.

On Friday I was out for dinner with friends, including one of my alpha readers who hasn’t completed the book yet. She’s an experienced author, editor and publisher, so her opinion carries a lot of weight with me. While obviously she’s seeing a lot that needs cleaning up, she told me I really have something with the book. That was such a balm after the string of rejections this week and probably contributed to my burst of weekend productivity.

So, I guess what I’m saying is I still have my nose to the grindstone, at least sporadically. Despite the rejections I’m also still able to take those good moments and turn them into motivation to keep going. I have such a history of starting things and abandoning them when they become difficult, not to mention my tendency to dwell on the negative. It’s been nice to see that this is something I keep trying to move forward with. Even if I’m not always (or even usually) working at the pace or intensity I want to, I’m actually trusting myself not to just let it fall by the wayside. What a learning process this whole writing thing has been, both about myself and the whole world of publication in general. Time to see what lessons this week holds.

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts


I had a really productive day earlier this week, and was feeling good that I’d finally moved past the new scene I’d been struggling with. Finally, I thought to myself, we’re going to make some real progress again. I had 78 pages […]


Celebrating Success

I had the great joy and privilege today to attend the book launch for Don Miasek’s Pale Grey Dot from Bakka-Phoenix Books. Don is a fantastic writer and friend from the Toronto Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers group, and Pale Grey Dot is […]