Rejection is the Best Motivation


So I struggle with submitting stories. The why of that is complicated and many-faceted, and (at least on the surface) has little to do with rejection. I will attempt to unpack this.

I see this difficulty as a self-discipline issue, getting distracted with other, newer projects, or I don’t make good on threats to research places to submit my stories to. Issues of focus and follow-through. Is there an element of rejection avoidance? Highly likely.

The whole process of submission overwhelms me. From finding a target, to polishing a piece to be specifically marketable to that target, to formatting to manuscript-standard and praying the file conversion doesn’t screw with it too badly (one of these days, I’ll have to break down and buy Word again, if only because that’s industry standard), to the damned cover letter.

I loathe cover letters.

But most often, I simply stick on finding appropriate markets for my stories. So when I discovered a six-month workshop and mentorship that seemed tailor-made to my needs, I got super excited.

Unfortunately, the cost was far beyond my means and I didn’t get a scholarship. Not that I had a ton of confidence in being able to keep up with the workload. (Still working on that write/life balance thing with a baby.)

The funny thing about that scholarship rejection? It solidified my determination to get off my ass and do something about these hangups of mine.

I have a plan of attack! Bite the bullet and pay for a year of Duotrope and look for markets for my short stories (stories currently written or still only concepts in my head). Try to create a community for support and cheerleading – otherwise known as outside accountability. Still working out the kinks here and need to decide which social platform to use and how, so suggestions are welcome!

This whole process has really kicked me into gear on the novel revision. Finally! Five chapters in one week is a giant relief after not working on it for so long. At this rate, I might feasibly finish sometime in March, barring life curveballs or the belated discovery of any massive changes. *knock on wood*

Rejections are like challenges. They tell me, “No, you can’t do this thing.” And I say, “Want to bet?”


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    1. Yes, please! I have gotten precisely nowhere since this post. Is there a low-stress community structure that works well for your brain? I belong to so many Facebook groups that they all tend to get lost in the noise. I’m currently leaning toward a hashtag. #cheeron isn’t used much that I can see (and then for the sport of cheering), while #cheerclub seems tied to tv programming in southeast Asia. Leaning toward #cheeron, if only for it sounding similar to Charon… (Input welcome!)

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