I had a very tumultuous 2022. The pandemic came to a close and so did a couple of chapters in my life. I did not start 2022 with any goals of significantly changing my life, yet here we are almost in 2023, and I changed careers and divorced my husband.
I started my new job on June 1st, and I left my husband on September 22nd. The divorce was final November 28th. My job was taxing, and my marriage had been on a spiral well before the pandemic. When I thought about 2023, I thought why set any goals when I have already changed my life so much in the past six months?
Then I started scrolling through my rejections in my Submittable account, a software platform many magazines use to organize their literary and artistic submissions. In my Submittable account this last year, I only sent my work out about fifteen times, which is kind of pathetic. I remind myself I was going through a lot, but only fifteen submissions? Out of these submissions, I had a poetry publication and one article acceptance. When I crunch the numbers, that means 13.3% of the writing I sent out in 2022 will see the light of day.
In 2019, pre-pandemic when I was moving full speed ahead with writing, I had 47 rejections and six publications. That year, I published 12.7% of the work I sent out.
Funny how the numbers are similar. I manage about a 12-13% acceptance rate. I could invert the math and say I have an 87-88% rejection rate, but why do that?
Instead, I can ponder. What would happen if I was rejected 100 times? What would happen if in 2023, I sent out double the amount of writing I submitted in 2019? Should I make it a goal to be rejected 100 times? Kim Laio recommends this practice in a LitHub article. I always wanted to make 100 rejections a goal, but I never could align all the stars in my universe to 1) proclaim this as a goal, and 2) work earnestly to make this goal a reality.
Now here I am, without student papers or a life partner. This wasn’t my intent upon entering 2022. Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan, I tell myself. And I still have responsibilities: two beautiful kids, a dog, I am going to adopt some kittens (my Christmas present to me and my daughters), I have a career, and I have my writing. I now also have time to set personal goals, and I’m going to try and get myself rejected 100 times in 2023.
Next year around this time, I’ll recap my efforts and let you know if I was able to make my goal a reality. I have a good head start on being rejected because I currently have my work submitted to sixteen different places. Eight-four submissions to go. Wish me luck.