When the second rejection email arrived in as many days on new stories that I consider good, solid efforts, it occurred to me that I’ve been rushing too much. I should impose a mandatory two week wait on anything new before even considering submission, as the odds are good that changes will be made when read with fresh eyes. That’s the first step.
What I need to do, and plan to implement immediately, is to first create a good, thorough synopsis of each story, so I can better categorize them more accurately.
Then, I need to spend more time vetting the markets I’m looking at. Read sample works they’ve published, understand exactly what they are looking for, especially for themed submissions, and be much more selective in what I send and where I send it to.
Slow down, stop rushing them out the door before the “ink” is even dry…that’s the mistake I’ve been making, and need to take steps, starting with those above, to change.
The quality of the work is improving, and I need to improve my work flow to match it…I believe that’ll lead to more successful submissions.
For all the books and websites offering lessons in all aspects of writing, I’ve never come across one that speaks to best practices for submitting short fiction, so it’s clearly been a learn as you go process.
I had very good luck early on, quickly landing three successful publications, and that gave me an unrealistic outlook on the process. The subsequent rejections have been good lessons on how the process normally works.
Time to roll the sleeves up and get to work!