Celebrate failure with me!
I created this for writers, but anyone can participate. It only takes a willingness to fail.
Commit to getting 45 REJECTIONS with me. If you get an acceptance along the way, great. We’ll dance for that together. But let’s focus on submitting and celebrating rejection, as part of the process of writing.
My personal goal is to get 45 rejections by the end of 2015. However, since turnaround time can take awhile, I’ll also be satisfied if I just make myself submit 45 times.
You can set your number and deadline however YOU want, but make it high, and commit to it.
It can be the same piece, or it can be 45 different pieces. The point is to FAIL, to be REJECTED, to ACCEPT CRITICISM and stand tall…45 times.
I’ll be here to cheer you on, and push your rear back onto the bicycle, and patch up and scrapes and bruises from the falls. Isn’t it really funny how different we are from when we were children, and we really didn’t care how many times we fell off the bicycle, because we just knew that in the end, no matter what, we would ride the bike?
When did we stop that way of thinking?
I want to learn to be proud of failure, to show off my bloody elbows and my gravel road battle scars.
What to Do:
Simply go to my new 45 Failures Page on this website, post your goal (number of rejections you want, and deadline for when you want them), and keep us updated. Feel free to post related things, like strategy, process, etc.
Post rejection letters. Give an ‘attaboy to your fellow writers. Maybe even connect with other writers and ask for suggestions if the same piece is repeatedly tanking. Maybe ask or share advice on places that might be a good fit for the material.
How it Started:
At the beginning of September, I read two things on the same day that struck a nerve:
1) Benjamin Percy, a writer whose work I admire, who I know has a huge network at his disposal, and who I respect for his ability to successfully navigate both literary and commercial circles, posted the following:
I’m guessing one out of every forty ideas I pitch — in magazines, comics, film/TV — gets any heat. You endure the no to get to the yes.
Seriously? All those connections and that talent (not to mention that persuasive voice) still only gets him a bite for 1 out of 40 ideas? Who am I to think that every third, or tenth, or even 20th submission should?
2) Ta-Nehisi Coates had a video on The Atlantic Facebook page, talking about failure and his early struggles writing for The Atlantic.
Some takeaways from that:
You try to go from really bad, to okay, to acceptable…I always consider the entire process about failure…Perseverance…I think that is just so key to writing.
Huh? This is one of the most influential writers on the market today, and he talks about being okay with just getting to “acceptable?” Who am I to obsess over being a perfectionist, when one of my writing heroes talks about the process being one of perseverance, failure and acceptance?
WHY 45? Because this is the year I turn 45, and I don’t think I’ve allowed myself 45 rejections in my life.
What do you think? Join me?
Have a great week, readers!