Confessions of a Submissions Slacker

Those of you who follow my blog (or read my ravings on Twitter) know it’s been a busy couple of months. Still, I’m not one for making excuses and I have a confession to make:

My submission numbers have been pretty poor, yo.

Last year, I was excellent at resubmitting stories. Rejection comes in? That sucks. Oh well. Off to the next market. But this year, rejected stories have been piling up on my harddrive. They sit there mocking me with their potential, erm, potential. “We are finished,” they cry, “no one is reading us!” they moan. “Nobody loves us,” they say in some other fashion.

And while I’m getting slightly better at resubmitting stories that are rejected, there’s still a whole slew of them sitting and waiting to find new markets. I have a backlog. The worst part is I know these stories aren’t doing me any good just sitting there. Finding time is difficult for researching new markets and organizing submissions. Like most writers I know, I use Duotrope to keep track of everything. Other than that, I use the post-it feature on my Mac’s Dashboard to note which stories are currently on submission and which ones still need to be sent out.

It may not be a perfect system, but it works for me. Well, it works for me when I actually use it. Still, I have 13 stories on submission right now and 7 I need to kick back out the door. It was worse last month, trust me. I also have 4 poems that need resubmitting.

*sigh* It’s easy to get overwhelmed with writer to-do lists. It never ends, really. Even blogging on a regular basis has eluded me.

What’s your strategy for keeping your submissions “out”? What do you do when you amass a backlog?

I’m off to go send out all the stories ever. Or, you know, try to resubmit one story before another rejection comes in. *hides from her inbox*

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10 thoughts on “Confessions of a Submissions Slacker

  1. I’ve got a backlog too!
    And I’ve got a sticky note on my desktop!
    And I’ve got no excuse. No reason why I can’t get this sorted.

    I’m just letting everything slide at the moment. Don’t know why. Depression, probably. One day I’ll get my arse in gear and sort it all out.

    I’m still writing though. And that’s a good thing.

    You’ve got good reasons for being to busy. I’m jealous.:)

    • Ah yes, depression will make you throw your hands up in the air and say screw it. I’m there often myself. It’s great that you’re still writing though. That’s nothing to sneeze at. I think I’m going to try to resubmit one story a day or something, just so it doesn’t feel like such a huge task.

  2. I’ve got my manuscript out with 4 agents, and perhaps a handful of queries dangling in the air… I keep an Xcel file of rejections and requests. Right now, I’m waiting for feedback (whether that be an offer of rep or a ‘hopefully’ personalized rejection from the 4 agents who have my ms before I send out more queries. So I’m kind of in a submission limbo.

    I don’t know much about short story submissions: do you get form rejections or personalized rejections? Do you need to write a query letter for your short story?

    • Sounds like you’re doing good keeping your work out there. I know with novel queries you’ve got to send in batches in case you need to make changes or anything.

      Re: short story submissions, it all depends. I get some forms and some personal. You don’t send query letters for short stories, you just send the story. Most markets don’t allow simultaneous submissions, so that means one story has to go to one market at a time. It’s keeping all of my stories in the submission rotation that’s been difficult. 🙂

  3. My biggest strategy is to try to get stories back out to market within a day of getting a rejection. If I let them bunch up, it starts to feel like a lot of work and it gets that much harder to “find” the time to do it.

    Speaking of which, I got a rejection overnight… I need to do something about that.

    • It’s the bunching up that is the problem for me. I had a day w/4 rejections and it all went downhill from there because I felt like I *had* to get them all back out at once. So I didn’t send any. And it snowballed. *sigh* I’m working on it though. Really. I am. lol

      • Yeah, that definitely can happen. And I’m due to get absolutely clobbered with rejections any day now. I’ve gone almost a week without getting back any final answers on the spec-fic stories I have out. Only rejections have been for some mystery/historical stuff.

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