Rejection Rituals

As part of my weekly writing schedule, one day a week I submit work to various literary magazines or online journals. I can honestly say that so far it’s worked! Granted I’ve only been working off my new schedule for two weeks, but hey, it’s a start =). I started my new writing schedule last week and wanted to make sure I had the rules laid out clearly.

  1. I can submit poetry, flash, contest submissions, short stories, or any other type of prose.

That’s it. I like simplicity.

The only thing left to do was a choose a day. On Mondays I only get about an hour, or an hour and a half to ‘work’ and when I write, I like having big chunks of undisturbed time. Especially if I’m working on revisions, which can require a bit of mental multitasking. Every week I was stressing myself out about how little I accomplished on Mondays, which meant they were the perfect choice for submission days. Now I had a rule and a day.

I chose to focus on submissions this year as part of my One Little Word project. For those of you who remember, I chose the word light as my word. Part of that focus is to see the light in my publishing accomplishments. Last year, the sequel to Ashborne ran into some major delays. Instead of a 2015 publication date, I had to push the revision into the new year, which meant the publication date was also pushed back. While I’m grateful I can be here for my family, and I wouldn’t have changed anything, the delays affected me in a negative way. This year’s goals are to finish what I can, publish what I can, and celebrate what I can. See the light in what I do. And I’m taking Ray Bradbury’s advice:

“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”

So, in addition to the sequel I’m revising, I’m writing. And submitting. Last week I sent two short stories out into the literary world. I figured each week I could submit two or three pieces and eventually rotate in new work as I completed the final drafts. Rejections are part of the game and I was mentally prepared for them. Well, as prepared as anyone can be for failure. Last year I submitted about a dozen pieces and out of that, I received one submission and one honorable mention. This year, I told myself, was going to be even better and all that thick skin I earned last year was going to stop the negative feelings of rejection from hitting.

What I wasn’t ready for was a rejection within 48 hours.

Wow! I’m not sure how to take that. Are they saying, ‘I can tell this is bad just by looking at the first sentence. Really bad!’ Or should I be encouraged. A literary magazine goes through submissions with the speed of Japan’s latest bullet train. I still don’t know what to think.

It did get me thinking about something else, though. Another way to keep the rejection notices from affecting me. I planned a way to celebrate acceptances, but not rejections. Time to fix that!

Introducing . . .

The Cas Blomberg Rejection Ritual:

  1. My alter ego created just for this purpose, Mad Mocha, will promptly write a rejection letter in response to the rejection letter.
  2. In the rejection letter, I will pour out whatever negative thoughts I have. Curses. Ill feelings. Rhetorical questions. Whining. You name it.
  3. I will never do this via email in case, like an idiot, I accidentally hit the send button.
  4. After I purge the negativity in a mad scribbling scrawl, I get to reward myself with a caramel latte. Or Tomte latte. Or whatever flavor-of-the-month latte Starbucks is selling.
  5. I will resubmit my work to another place.
  6. At the end of the year, I’m going to collect all of my rejection letters into a lovely journal and laugh about them =).

Feel free to adapt the above ritual to your own needs.

Published by casblomberg

Cas Blomberg is a native-English speaking writer who lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

5 thoughts on “Rejection Rituals

  1. I´m really loving complaining about our rejections together. When I get back to Sweden I´m looking forward to monthly latte and rejection celebrations! 🙂

  2. Hej Cassandra,

    I liked the way you write, it is enjoyable to read 🙂
    I think I will adapt your ritual when I recieve rejection letter after aplying to a job.
    Keep fighting, do not give up.
    I added you on Linkedin


    1. Haha, it’s good to take the negativity away from rejection =). I’ll say Good luck, but I’m sure you won’t have many rejections, before you get acceptance.

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