The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Have You Been Naughty, Or Have You Been Nice?

       At the end of 2012, Donna Volkenannt wrote a post chronicling her year as a writer. She listed her submissions and her acceptances/rejections. It inspired me to keep a planner and I faithfully mostly remembered to make a notation when I sent something off.

     Hey, Donna! I just bought my new planner for 2014. Hopefully I will submit something in the first week of January to start things off.

     And now, here is how my year went: (And if you want to avoid all the writer mumbo-jumbo and go straight to the earth-shattering revelations mildly interesting details, scroll past the bullet points.)

In January I submitted: 

  • a story for the NYMB law enforcement anthology. (I haven't heard yet)
  • a story for the moms-to-be NYMB anthology.
  • a story for NYMB about the first meeting of the WWWP's (no news yet)
  • a guest post for writingwithoutwalls--it was published
  • a guest post for WOW--The Muffin called "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle." (it was published)
  • a story for the "Cupid's Quiver" collection--was published
  • a story for Sasee's March issue--rejected
  • a story for Chicken Soup's Just Us Girls anthology--published
In February I submitted:
  •  a story for LTYM--was rejected
  • a story for Chicken Soup's "Lemon to Lemonades" collection--was rejected
  • another story for CS's "Lemon to Lemonades"--rejected
  • a story for Chicken Soup's Holiday Stories--rejected
  • a piece of flash fiction to an ultra-short competition--rejected
In March I submitted:
  • a piece to Sasee for their May 2013 issue--rejected
  • a story for CS's "Miraculous Messages from Heaven"--rejected
  • a short story to Bayou magazine--no news...still
  • a story to Chicken Soup's "The Dating Game"--accepted
  • a memoir piece for NYMB on Cats--???
In April I submitted:
  • a story to Silver Boomer Books' "Longest Hours" collection--rejected
  • a story for CS's book on cats--???
  • a story for Gloria Gaynor's anthology--rejected
In May I submitted:
  • a story to Chicken Soup's "Just Us Girls"--published
  • two stories to "Thirty Days to Sanity"--both rejected
  • a story to the NYMB on Dieting--???
  • a story for CS's book on holidays--???
In June I submitted:
  • a story to CS's "Multitasking Moms' Survival Guide--published
  •  a story to CS's "Positive Kids"--accepted
  • a manuscript to Guardian Angel Publishing--rejected
  • another story to CS's "Positive Kids"--rejected
  • a story for NYMB on Special Occasions--???
  • a story for CS's "Rebooting" anthology--???
In July I submitted:
  • a story for Chicken Soup's book on dogs--???
  • a story for NYMB on Moms--accepted
  • a guest-post for WOW--The Muffin--published
  • a story for NYMB on Family--rejected
  • a story for Sasee's September issue--published
  • a story for NYMB on Moms--rejected
  • a story for CS's dog anthology---???
In August I submitted:
  • a story to NYMB on Moms--rejected
In September I submitted nothing. Yikes.

In October I submitted:
  • a story for CS's "Overcoming Challenges" piece--???
In November:
  • I worked on my NaNo project from 2012 and got into the mid 70,000's
  • I submitted a story for CS's "Home Sweet Home"
In December I submitted:
  • a guest post for WOW--The Muffin--published
      I discovered several things. One, I know there are pieces I forgot to jot down. I will try to be not as naughty next year and instead be more meticulous.

       Secondly, there were some months where submissions were sparse. April, May, August, September (none), October, November and December. I am going to try and be more vigilant and look at my planner, week by week, and see if I need to ramp up my submissions. For some of those months, I can make excuses rationalize why I didn't submit much. April is a busy month for me, teaching-wise (state testing). May is a crazy month for me, teaching-wise (the end of the school year/report cards). August is back-to-school month and September is parent-teacher conferences. October? Perhaps I'm too busy gobbling up Halloween candy before Halloween...November I completely understand. My priorities were with my NaNo (still not done). December--another crazy month teaching-wise (report cards are looming).

      Third, (I already knew this) my rejections far, far outweigh my acceptances. Donna Volkenannt did a nice job of tallying up her rejected pieces vs. her published pieces. I'm too full of Christmas crap right now to do that. However, I think for every 942 pieces that got rejected, 3 got accepted. It seems I've been a lot naughtier as a writer than I've been nice.

         Do you keep track of your submissions digitally, via a calendar/planner or some other way? Do you have a bit of advice to kick some (like me) in the butt?


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  2. Gosh Sioux, it sounds like you are doing great... makes me feel like a slacker. I keep a file on the computer of things I've submitted and whether they've been rejected or accepted, but I've never looked at it for the year. I'm afraid it might make me depressed, so I'll just be happy with what I've accomplished! However, it is good to have goals to work toward, so "upping" what one did the year before could be a good way to review it. Congrats on all your acceptances - and like you've said before, those rejections could be possible stories (rewritten) for future acceptances. Thanks for all your support and inspiration!

    1. Lynn--Anyone who doesn't know personally how you work might agree with you when you say you're a slacker. However--and we might be the only ones, since you're so stingy with sharing your writing--the WWWPs know that's a bunch of hooey.

      You have at least two manuscripts that have spot-on, authentic voices and each one is different. You journal (every day?). You write letters (dozens every week?). You are working on your memoir along with your novels.

      Give me a break, Lynn, and shut up (and that IS the cleaned-up version ;).

  3. What a great looking list! You are busy! And I know about those no responses for nearly 12 months...or more! I keep a rather lame list by the month. I haven't figured out a real good system yet...I use a spiral notebook.

    Today I got news of a third place in free verse contest...a tee tiny check and that gives me a little sap for facing the new year. I will try more! You keep going too!!!!

    1. Claudia--A third place prize! Congratulations. That IS a great way to usher in the new year.

      I like a cheap planner, because then I can look and see, week by week, if I have submitted anything.

      Keep the momentum going...

  4. I submit to no one. Take that any way you like! ;-)

    1. Shay--Yeah, writers like you publish books instead of submitting and keeping our fingers crossed that someone will say yes (she said, with a slight tinge of green on her face ;)

  5. Dang! I really need to keep a list. I guess I just don't submit enough. You submit more in one month than I have all year. I commend you. You're like the Army of writing, doing more before 9:00 a.m. than most people do all day.

    1. Val--
      But I don't enter contests like you do. And I don't entertain people all across the country with my posts AND my replies to comments. You do that, and you do it every day.

      But I do think keeping a list helps out. It's a visual reminder/kick in the butt.

  6. This is so impressive, Sioux! I really lack discipline in this area.

    1. Riiiiight, Mama Zen. You only write a mind-blowing poem every day, co-author a book with two other phenomenal writers, and inspire other writers.

      I refuse to feel pity for your lack of "discipline." ;)

  7. I keep a chart with color-coded highlights, and I also have a way of cycling everything through various files. Still, you made me realize I am the REAL slacker. I'd stand up, except my gurgling-cheese-ball-body is too stuffed with holiday fare to move much. I too submit in a year what you do in a month, which makes me realize I need to quit whining about things like broken computers and remember that people used to write even before they were invented. I bow to your dedication.

    1. Tammy--If you do NOTHING else this winter, work on your sci-fi novel. I'm begging you. I am not crazy about sci-fi (although I do love Asimov) but yours is incredible. I want to find out where it goes. I want to find out how it ends. (And the rest of the WWWPs feel the same way.)

      It's really too good to just let it sit, unfinished...

  8. Dear Sioux,
    In light of your year-in-review recap, I can only say "phooey". Your tracking system may lack a certain finesse of cross-referencing and color coding, however, the words "submitted", "accepted" and "published" burn my eyeballs with their frequency.

    I keep a spreadsheet of "submissions" which are more accurately called "entries", and while I do copious mass entries, your sheer numbers beat me. Occasionally I even win a prize large enough to cover the entry fee.

    You and Donna are Mistresses of Mastering the Process, and I curtsey before you.

    1. Please, Marcia. I don't even enter a contest when I hear you have entered, and I submit a lot to increase the odds...a little.

      Donna...You...Linda...Lynn...Tammy...Beth...There is a lot of talent in the St. Louis/St. Charles area. I'm glad some of it rubs off on me.

  9. Holy cow! I'm extremely impressed. I'm thrilled if I get one stinkin' piece sent off per month.

    You aren't the "Princess of Procrastination", you're the "Princess of Productivity"!

    Critter Alley

    1. Pat--We all have our own "thing." Right now, writing and submitting is what I need to do. It's healing for me.

      (And when my drafts stink, I think I'm more the "Princess of Poop.")

  10. I applaud you and your system, Sioux! It doesn't matter how fancy the system as long as it works, and girl, you've got it going on. :-)

    I use a cheap binder and keep track of my subs on plain, old loose leaf paper. (I'm still using up the paper my kids didn't use in high school--and they're all graduated from college, so...) My system is two-fold: At the end of the month, I list all my subs in my binder, as well as any financial transactions (I don't like doing the money side but it's SO much better when I keep up with it monthly!). On the first of the month (or thereabouts) I check a couple places for call outs and decide what I want to try. Then I list them on a calendar that I keep above my desk. Every day I sit down and stare at my calendar...I don't always accomplish everything but I do what I can and what I like. I save my calendars, and then at the end of the YEAR, I can check my subs and my calendar to get an idea of how I fared.

    But if I had your submission track record, I can assure you, I'd be very, very happy!


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