Thursday, December 29, 2011

Never Ask a Woman How Much She Weighs...

And never ask a writer how many times they've been rejected B-)


Though, to give you a teaser -- both will be revealed by the end of this blog post.

Ah Facebook -- colossal waste of time?

Well, today a post on facebook by my good friend ire'ne lara silva , a poet I admire, got me thinking about 2011 and beyond.

As writers, we're always quick to celebrate our successes, share them with our friends and family to gain encouragement and for those oh so valuable "congratulations." I thrive on that sort of thing :) :) :)

But what about the rejections? Those I usually tuck away in the back of my mind. Somewhere along the road, I've thickened up my writerly skin and have decided to not let them get to me, really. I mean, as a poet, you really do indeed have to be that way. Otherwise, well... you won't last very long!

So anyway, let's get back to ire'ne -- she was brave enough to tally up her rejection/acceptance stats for the year and share them on her facebook page, which I found absolutely commendable. How could she make them so public? I didn't even want to know my own stats, to go through the pain of counting up rejections... much less share them on facebook? My poet friends will see me for what I am -- a loser.

But, but... while munching away at my veggie sub, I started thinking about it. Why the stigma? Everyone gets rejections. It's just something we don't talk about, because, as much as we don't want it to, it always hurts. I've become pretty numb to the pain over the years, but ah... it still pricks everytime I open up my mailbox and see that ominous envelop, everytime my email dings and I see "Re: Katherine Hoerth Poetry Submission" in the subject line.

So I decided, in the spirit of ire'ne's amazing courage, that I, too, would tally up my rejections and share them with the world. Perhaps we could get a little laugh, right? I pop into duotrope, and go to my tracker. And, here are my 2011 stats:

92 rejections, 9 acceptances. (if we count book submissions, it ticks up to 11/92)

Wow. LOL! 92 Rejections? How did I NOT kill myself after 92 rejections?

A few days ago, I thought I would do an "end of the year" Katie triumph post about all of my achievements. But you know what? I think the greatest achievement I've made this year is surviving those rejections -- not letting them get to me.

How about my 2010 stats, you ask?

7/21 -- though, let's be honest, I wasn't submitting to pie in the sky places like AGNI, or Tin House.

So there they are... I feel so utterly naked. My stats... it's almost as embarrassing as sharing my true weight (in the spirit of full disclosure, I weigh 124).

Oh my.

So how do you feel about your rejections? Are they dirty little secrets, or badges of courage?

Since the New Year is just around the corner, I'll start off with one of my many resolutions.

May 2012 be the year I break out into triple digit rejections :)

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing! I am a facebook friend of Ire'ne's and I saw her post this morning too. I sent my first submission EVER just a few weeks ago....let's see what comes of that. Nervous? Yes. But now that I've read this and Ire'ne's post, I think I'll find the courage and strength to get past any/all rejections coming my way. Thank you for sharing! RAWR!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by Rosa! I remember how I felt after my first submission, too. It takes an amazing amount of courage to put yourself out there, so KUDOS to you! May it be the first of many many many :)

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  3. This is fabulous! Thank you for writing post an inspiring. You really make me wanna be more productive!!

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  4. Thanks for your comment, Rain! I'm so happy to read that you've found my post inspiring. 2012 can only be our year if we put ourselves out there and make it happen!

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