I got my sixth hundred rejection today.
Let's see, my five hundredth was roughly nine months ago on June 22nd, 2010.
My four hundredth was about nine months before that, on September 13th, 2009.
And my three hundredth was a year before that, circa August 8th, 2008.
In keeping with the general acceleration of my writing career, it took me four and a half years of submitting to get my first three hundred rejections, but only two and a half to get me my next three hundred. Some readers might also remember that my sale to Clarkesworld occurred right after my 500th rejection, meaning that 100 rejections have gone by since then without any positive news.
But that's okay. I read only already-published and largely already-canonized books, but even amongst that selection, I find that some books speak to me and some do not. Some books, just because I was forced to read them in high school, or because I read them during a lunch break when I was particularly anxious and distracted, will never appeal to me in the way they would have if I had read them on the beach, or during a long plane trip. I assume that this problem is much worse for editors, who read stories under immense constraints in terms of time and speed, and who read the rawest, least pre-selected stories possible, and who, hence, cannot help but assume that any given story they'll read is going to be kind of mediocre. I know that I'm getting better, and that I've written many stories much superior to the ones I've sold, and I feel confident that eventually some editor's mind will click at the same time as he or she is reading one of my stories, and I will succeed once again.
But in the meantime, it's fun to have 600 rejections. At this rate, I will reach my goal of 1,000 in only 36 months, or March 2014.
Congrats on the milestone! I think I stopped counting at either 400 or 500, around the time when more queries and partials and all made the number less relevant to me.
Thanks Alex. Yes, the one annoying thing about novel submissions is how it’s going to mess up my rejection count, which has been my major marker of progress as a writer.