Reject Rejectomancy!

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
Wulf Moon
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Contact:

Reject Rejectomancy!

Postby Wulf Moon » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:10 pm

I posted this under the Silver HM topic, but I feel it really needs to be its own topic. Here we go:

Try not to read too much into what made your HM fail to win. It's equivalent to a personal rejection from a pro publisher. You can drive yourself nuts trying to guess at what got it rejected. Ken Liu talked about this at Norwescon this year. He called it "Rejectomancy." Let me get my notes. Okay. He said he had sold to WOTF and Strange Horizons and thought he had made it, his career was set. So he sent out his third story to pro markets. After one year, no sale. Two years, no sales. He actually counted words in the form rejections, measured paper size compared to previous rejections, trying to discern if there was some secret meaning to it all. Rejectomancy. He finally rewrote it. Wrote nothing else in those two years, just did that rewrite. And kept sending out that same story. He worked it down the semipro markets. No sale. Not even to markets paying one buck for a story. Nada. So he said, and I quote, "I decided my first two sales were flukes. So I quit, became a laywer. My writing career was dead."

And that's where the story might have ended. But about five or six years after he quit, he got contacted by the editor of an anthology that remembered him. He was doing an anthology titled STORIES THAT HAVE BEEN REJECTED MANY TIMES. The idea for the antho? That there were rejected pro stories out there that were great stories, they just didn't fit in the markets they'd been sent to. Ken sold them his story. Ken said at the end of the antho, they posted the rejection stats on each story. Ken said, "Of all of them, I was the champ!"

He said this sale was like a message from the universe that he should write again. Had that editor not contacted him, Ken Liu would likely still be pursuing a career in law, instead of the author of 150 short stories, and the epic silkpunk tomes of the DANDELION DYNASTY.

Moral of the story? Don't be Ken Liu. : )

Okay, do be Ken Liu. Just try not to read so much into rejections, and get on with writing...and sending out...your next!

Fortune favor the brave.

~Moon~

seerod26
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:14 am

Re: Reject Rejectomancy!

Postby seerod26 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:42 am

Thank you for that! It's so easy to get caught up in rejections. They've certainly thrown me into writing slumps before but I'm learning how to deal with them better wotf007

User avatar
AmytheAuthor
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:47 am

Re: Reject Rejectomancy!

Postby AmytheAuthor » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:36 am

Good reminder. This is probably why it's taken me 17 years to even submit a story.
It's a 100% non-rejection rate for unsubmitted stories.
A rejection is closer to success than an unsubmitted non-rejection. wotf011
Constantly writing in my mind, rarely getting it typed up.
Q1 35: R Q3 35:
. wotf052

Wulf Moon
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:54 pm
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Contact:

Re: Reject Rejectomancy!

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:36 am

AmytheAuthor wrote:Good reminder. This is probably why it's taken me 17 years to even submit a story.
It's a 100% non-rejection rate for unsubmitted stories.
A rejection is closer to success than an unsubmitted non-rejection. wotf011


Amy, I hear you. That is called self-rejecting. Many *beginning* writers self-reject. They want the world to see their stories, but they don't feel they are good enough, or fear no one will like them, or fear what a rejection might do to their ego. Those are all legitimate fears. At some point, if your desire is to be published, you have to push past those fears and send your stories out (congrats on doing that!). And, since you apprentice in your first stories (lots of people believe it takes writing a million words to create something that could pass as professionally publishable) you are likely going to get many, many rejections back before you make your first sale. And when you do, there can be a need to try to decipher why it got rejected, why something you worked so hard on and loved enough to send out was apparently disliked! It's not likely true (although some editors at less than professional publications have written some truly nasty rejection letters), but because we are so emotionally attached to things we pour our creative energy into, it can create unproductive mental loops. As it did for Ken Liu. As it did and does for a lot of us.

Ken admits he would not likely have found his way out of that negative loop had not something wonderful and completely unexpected happened for him. It's nice that the Universe spoke to him, as he says. Personally, I have never found the Universe to be so benevolent. I have always had to fight tooth and nail for anything the Universe has given me. But I am a fighter. And I encourage you and all others that wish to be published authors to put on your armor and go to battle.

Because that is what it's going to take.

~Moon~


Return to “The Contest - Quarterly Topics, and Other Items”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest