Back In Black: Year of the Rejection Letter

Black Coffee for Breakfast in White Porcelain Cup

We got an espresso machine for Xmas. This may help. Or I might never sleep again. (Photo credit:

Aaaaand we’re back. Did you miss me? I missed you. It was a lovely holiday here in Bare Knuckle Writer-Land, with many parties and visits. We all survived the Apocalypse of 2012, and started looking forward to the next Apocalypse. My money’s on the next one being dragged out of some ancient Asian text. Dragon of Unhappiness, anyone?

But it wasn’t all chocolates and scotch over the holidays. I always take this time to look back on what was really good about the last year, and what really fucking sucked. And figure out what I can do to improve the sucky parts. I believe these are known in the common tongue as New Year’s Resolutions. Cliche, I know, but there is something compelling about turning over your life in the dead stub of the year and looking at its inner workings. And then seeing what else you can make of it.

As a rule, I usually make three resolutions: one personal, one physical, and one professional. I tend to post them somewhere where they can be read by other people as a half-assed attempt at accountability. And, honestly, I can’t think of a better place to post the professional one than right here. With all those eyes on me, I’m way less likely to flake the fuck out in March. So here it is.

In 2013, I want to get rejected more.

Weird? Yeah. Let me explain: I want to get published more. But by its very nature, that means getting more rejections, because the more your work is out there, the more chances it has of being shot down. But if it’s never out there, it will never be published. So, this year, I resolve to get more rejections. Best part is, if I get an acceptance, it doesn’t count toward the total, so I have to submit more stuff.

This year, I resolve to amass thirteen rejections. Baker’s dozen. Novels, mostly, but I have some short stories I can send out as well. And if I don’t have enough material, well, I’ll just have to write more, won’t I? Until I can pin up those rejections. I will collect those fuckers, and learn from them, and use them to my advantage. Until I can drive them before me and hear the lamentation of their envelopes.

But this isn’t just about me. Why not make your own writing resolution? Resolve to finish a novel, or try a screenplay, or dabble in erotica. Dust off that half-finished manuscript and work on it. Start something entirely new. Submit your first short story to a market. Try something just for the hell of it and see if you make it through the other side. Own the scars and add more.

Me, I’m going to be over here for the rest of the day making a list of markets to submit stories and novels to. Put some speed metal on the stereo, make a cup of coffee, and plan my attack. I will return in December with the hides of thirteen rejections nailed to my shield.

2013: it’s going to be bad ass.

4 thoughts on “Back In Black: Year of the Rejection Letter

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