Can I talk about patience? And maybe about hard work?
In the massive pile of emails waiting for me when I got back from my holiday, there were two rejections from publishers - both for short stories. That was two of my most recent pieces rejected their first time out. Neither rejection particularly bothered me. Yep, it would have been great to come back to two acceptances wedged between all the junk about PPI and meeting hot singles, but it didn't happen. The interesting thing about this is there are people not involved in the writing or publishing world (and dare I say it, some newbie writers?) who would be surprised by the rejections and by my not being too bothered. The logic goes that as I'm a published writer, then surely everything I sub is accepted, and if it's not, how can I be anything other than annoyed?
It doesn't work like that. Not at all. Just because I've had some short fiction published, one book published and another contracted doesn't mean much when it comes to subbing other work. All it tells a publisher is that I'm serious about what I do and SOME of my stuff has been good enought to be accepted. It doesn't tell them jack about whatever piece I've sent them. If they read that piece, like it and have a place for it, then I'm in. If they don't like it or don't have a place for it, then I'm out. It's as simple as that.
So two new stories give me two new rejections. And guess what I did after reading those emails? The only thing I could do: read through the stories to make sure I hadn't arsed anything up and sent them back out to new markets. If a writer is serious about what they're doing, then that's what they do.
Patience and hard work. Get those two mastered and you're on to something if you want to succeed at writing or anything, for that matter.
Or, you know, you could just go on TV, do some bad karaoke, chuck in a sob story and then throw a wobbler if you don't get what you want. That's the path to success, right?