How many of these bad boys do you need to get before you hear a yes? In terms of sales: 100. It takes 100 no’s to get a yes. So what does that mean for your writing? It means you finally have a goal.
You heard me, your goal should be 100 rejections.
Once you stop name calling and swearing, I’ll keep going….
You done? Good!
Writing is just another day job. There is nothing special that separates the careers of writers from the rest. Your story is a product and you are the salesman. Period. You have a job to do:
SELL THE BEST PRODUCT
It sounds simple enough, but if you want to sell something it should be top notch, without any scratches, and it shouldn’t be broken. As a consumer, would you purchase a computer monitor if the screen was scratched? How about a gallon of milk with the cap unscrewed? Of course not. Yet, so many writers try to sell unfinished product in an already saturated market. Polish, edit, polish, edit until it is as good as it gets.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
How many cars do you think a third grader has bought in the past ten years? How many diapers has a bachelor bought? If you are trying to sell a genre story in a literary market it will be tough, as will a touchy-feely story in a pure horror anthology. You need to research magazines that publish stories like yours. How? You have to study, and that includes purchasing the magazines you would like to see your work in. In the real world, people take prospective clients out to lunch. Buying an ezine or a year subscription is no different (and probably costs less).
DON’T TAKE REJECTIONS PERSONAL
News flash: YOU WILL RECEIVE MORE NO’S THAN YES’S. In any sales job, more customers will walk away empty handed than those who purchase. Why should your story be any different? The reason you think it should be different is because you wrote it. It’s brilliant. It’s the most fabulous story you’ve written yet. But, the truth is, it’s still a product that needs to find the right buyer. What would happen if you walked into Best Buy, had an employee show you some computers, and when you say you’d like to think about it or you’re not interested, the employee broke down into tears or swore at you that you didn’t know shit? It would be kinda creepy. That’s what happens when you freak out over a rejection. When you decide that you aren’t good enough because an editor at XYZ pub didn’t connect to your piece. It’s a product. You’re a salesman (or woman).
It takes 100 no’s to get a yes. So, rejoice over that rejection. Keep a tally. Remember that each no gets you closer to that coveted yes. Have a goal and when you hit rejection 50 celebrate because you’re halfway there.