GOAL: 100 Rejections a Year
I’ve been hearing poets online say they have a goal of accruing 100 rejections a year. I’m not sure where this trend started, but in mid-2016 LitHub carried an article by Kim Liao “Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year,” about flipping your perspective on submissions and failing best. The advice is simply this: “Collect rejections. Set rejection goals. I know someone who shoots for one hundred rejections in a year, because if you work that hard to get so many rejections, you’re sure to get a few acceptances, too.” It’s Samuel Beckett who wrote, “Fail, fail again, fail better.” It’s good advice. Obviously, you could send out 100 submissions to The New Yorker. That would be missing the point. Each submission should make sense given the fit between your work and the target journal, taking into account the journal’s acceptance ratio. Keep writing. Keep submitting.
I’m taking the advice to heart. I haven’t been sending my work out much over the past couple of years and a major goal for 2018 is to remedy that. In the past week, I’ve sent out over 50 poems. Two acceptances so far (one being a same-day turnaround). Not bad, or so I tell myself.