18 January 2015

New goal: get rejected

Several unexpected and exciting things happened this week, one of which was that my mom told me about this NPR story about a guy who, in order to get over his fear of rejection, makes it a goal to get rejected in some small way every day. Which got me thinking about the fact that I haven't done much (any?) submitting in the last six months, and hence have neither had my work accepted or rejected for a very long time. I think I'm going to make it a goal to get work rejected by 20 editors this year. The beauty of this goal? If I send out 20 submissions and 2 of them are accepted, I have to send out more submissions and get rejected at least twice more to meet my quota.

I have too many other things on my plate right now to dive into this goal immediately, but I'll start submitting poems (and stories?) this summer.

Related to that, I've also semi-decided to query at least one of the books of poetry I'm putting together this year instead of trying to self-publish absolutely everything. I'm mostly in it for the experience of querying, which I'll be able to use to both empathize with and advise my coaching and editing clients, but if someone ended up accepting the book, that'd be pretty darn cool.

As for the other exciting things that happened this week? They are mentioned in my...

ROW80 Update
"A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life."
Note: This update only includes the past week's tasks and the coming week's tasks. If you'd like to know how they relate to my goals for this round, you can read my 2015 Round 1 Goals post.

Creative projects
Past week's tasks:
Lock down 1st drafts of 5 chapters in WIP1; finish 1st draft of "Split Infinity." Worked on WIP1 all 5 days; locked down 3 more 1st drafts of chapters and got *really close* on a 4th. Finished a really rough draft of "Split Infinity" and sent to my developmental editor, Diane, for feedback on the direction I'm taking; got ideas for "One Book" while walking home and managed to write them down before I forgot.

Coming week's tasks: Lock down 1st drafts of 5 more chapters in WIP1; finish 1st draft of "One Book" & come up with a better title; discuss "Split Infinity" with Diane.

Past week's tasks:
Plan next guest post series; 2 more posts on this blog (incl. Friday guest post); 1 post on pseudo's blog; 1 post on travel blog.
Not only managed to get several people lined up for my current guest post series on success as a writer but also chose theme for next series - the characteristics of good writing - and lined 1 person up to participate. Posted 3 times on this blog - last week's ROW80 update, "The back of the closet" about the tendency to put writing last, & a guest post by author Ruthanne Reid, the latest in the series about success as a writer. No post on pseudo's blog because I've been focusing on rethinking my marketing strategy for her & I'm not sure blog posts are the best use of time. No post on travel blog either.

Coming week's tasks: At least 1 more post on this blog; 1 post on travel blog.

Reading for fun
Past week's tasks:
Read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. While at the library early this week I passed through the YA lit section. The Selection by Kiera Cass caught my eye. I picked up the whole trilogy - because why not? - and read the first book on Monday night, The Elite on Tuesday night, and The One on Wednesday night. Definitely met my need for fun! I took a break from reading on Thursday night to catch up on New Girl and The Mindy Project, but on Friday night I started reading Oscar Wao. I don't know what to tell you. I was totally turned off by the first paragraph. Because the book was recommended to me by at least two people, I kept reading onto the second page, where I found a footnote that takes up half the page. I closed the book. Maybe will give it another try later, but at least right now, that book is not meeting my need for fun.

Coming week's tasks: I'm still waiting on House of Leaves to come in, so I need something else to read this week. I'll look for Stargirl or The Martian Chronicles at the library. If neither of those are available, I'll find something else in the YA section.

Community participation
Past week's task:
Comment on 2-3 ROWer posts; find a writing/publishing blog to follow. Commented on 4 ROW80 posts. Started following 3 writing/publishing blogs: Prolific Novelista, PubHub, and Rebecca Faith Editorial. This means that I've met the blog-following goal for this round! Woo hoo!

Coming week's tasks:  Writing sprints during my regular writing time (10am-1pm Pacific, Monday through Friday) with my Twitter buddy Jo Custer (@Sonuvab); at least 1 writing sprint with #writeclub on Friday; comment on 2-3 ROWer posts.

Social media
Past week's tasks:
30 mins on Twitter, 3 times; 2 FB posts on the LLC page; schedule #AskAnEditor Twitter conversation & begin promoting. Didn't keep close tabs on my Twitter usage this week, but my guess is that I spent at least 30 mins on there at least 3 times a week. Put up 8 FB posts not related to promoting my blog posts. Did not schedule or begin promoting the #AskAnEditor Twitter convo, but will do so now: Sunday, February 15, 2015, 9am Pacific time. Also still basking in the glow of this lovely & unexpected tweet and the resulting conversations and new connections. =*)

Coming week's tasks: 30 mins on Twitter, 3 times; 2 FB posts on the LLC page unrelated to promoting blog posts; take a couple stabs at promoting #AskAnEditor.

Past week's tasks:
Emails out to 5 more clients/friends of the blog; blog post focused on coaching. Sent out 2 new emails & responded to people who'd responded from the previous week. Published a coaching-focused blog post. Also - very exciting! - responded to an interview request from a journalist who's doing a feature article on one of my editing clients. So excited for Ms. Gibson!

Coming week's tasks: Emails out to 5 more clients/friends of the LLC; blog post focused on coaching.

Research/choose a print self-publishing option
Past week's tasks: Re-read Andrea's post; do a Google search; choose 5 options to begin researching in more depth. I got a little caught up in the research; I was less methodical than I wanted to be but I also accomplished more. For example I discovered that in order to make any profit at all from distributing a 300-page book printed through CreateSpace to other vendors (e.g. Barnes & Noble, Powell's, etc.), it would have to be priced at $9.99, which seems more expensive than most traditionally-published mass-market paperbacks. I guess the difference being that CreateSpace books are trade paperback, but still. The other option would be to publish a print version on CreateSpace without expanded distribution (only available via Amazon and the CreateSpace store). CreateSpace seems like a good option because you don't have to pay anything to upload your files (though of course you have to have files that are ready to go), but I'm still in the process of looking into two companies that offer print-on-demand publishing & distribution for flat fees, namely Xlibris and Outskirts Press.

Coming week's tasks: None. I'll come back to this goal in February.

This is a blog hop! Click here to read other ROW80ers Sunday updates. 

What are you working on this week? What do you think of the idea of trying to get over a fear by confronting it directly?


  1. Getting rejected 20 times is a brilliant goal! I love it! Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Dave! Do you have submission goals this year?

  2. Great idea - getting over a fear by doing it. And, you can't get rejected if you don't submit. You achieved so many goals this week - well done. All the best in the coming week.

    1. Thanks, Bev. I did have a lot to celebrate this week. Hope your writing's going well!

  3. That's a great goal, but I'm going to be really positive right now, what if of your 20 fifteen are accepted. I don't think I'd have the time to write that many more shorties to submit. I'm think I'm going to steal this though, just lower the number. ;)
    Will you be sharing your publishing research? I'm very interested in learning more of that.
    Great post Sione, I think I'm going to C&P some of this one and print it out.

    1. Excellent point, Mari. In this case, I think I'd feel just fine about failing if it meant I got 15 pieces accepted. ;*) Would you let yourself off the hook in that case?

      I shared my initial publishing research results in this week's post (at the bottom - I know; there was a lot!), and yes, I'll continue to report my findings as I delve further and eventually make a decision.

      Glad you're finding the posts useful!

  4. Definitely sounds like a good week. Reminds me that i need to just submit more.

    Have an awesome week, Sione! :-)