Twenty-twenty-two. Here we goooo.
Fancy a New Year’s Resolution that’s totally realistic and achievable? How about committing to have your precious writing rejected at least once this year?
Eek. Yes. The agony of being perceived. Judgement. Ego-death. Flailing.
But also: actually sending your work out into the world and seeing what happens. Because what’s the worst that could happen?
Well, rejection, almost certainly. But that doesn’t have to be the end of everything.
‘Cause here, as they say, is the thing.
If you want to be a writer, you ARE going to get rejected. This may or may not have any reflection whatsoever on the quality of your work. This may be entirely subjective. This may simply mean you sent a particular piece to the wrong place, or too early, or forgot to take your name off the document when they asked for blind submissions. Or, y’know, maybe it was about the quality and you jusr need to develop your writing a little more.
None of these are terrible, soul-crushing, spirit-swamping, creativity-destroying reasons. They are all just part of how we learn, how we build resilience, and how we get to the next level in our own, completely personal, completely non-comparable writing journey.
Rejection is a vital part of the process. And if you never allow yourself to experience it—if you never send your work out there—not only will you limit your own opportunity to grow as a writer, you’ll also never give yourself the chance to flip that other side of the coin… <whisper it> publication.
But that’s just a side product. Because our goal here is not to chase the highs of acceptance and praise and social media admiration. The #Submit2022 challenge is all about chasing rejection. A kind of exposure therapy, if you will. Dedicating ourselves to sending our work out there as many times as we can this year with no expectations beyond simply hitting that submit button. Come what may.
So join us. Even if you only send out ONE thing. That’s a gigantic step in itself.
And, with a little pep-talking and pom-pom waving from the Writers’ HQ community, you might just pluck up the gumption to send out another thing And then another… And before you know it, the fear of rejection is a distant memory and you’re addicted to the whole shebang.
Now, a little troubleshooting:
No idea where to start?
Check out our mammoth monthly listings of writing competitions and opportunities to find the perfect place to send your stuff. Or, if you’re working on a submissions package for a novel, have a look at our Publishing 101 series to help you rustle up a winning query, synopsis, and sample pages to help you land an agent.
Terrified of rejection?
Yeahhhh, it’s rough, buddy. But it just so happens we’ve written A LOT about the subject, including how to kick imposter syndrome in the balls and overcome your fear of failure. (In fact, we wrote a whole course about it.)
You are not alone. We have the BEST online writing community in town, so come and join our free writing forum for rejection commiserations, acceptance celebrations, submission tip-swapping and feedback from your fellow WHQers.
Still not sure why you should be doing this?
Well then, take a minute to read our blog on Why Lit Mags Matter (and why writers need to read them) to see if we can change your mind.
And then, my sweet summer writer – it’s time to submit.
P.S. We’ve been running #Submit challenges since 2018 and full credit goes to Kim Liao’s quest to achieve 100 rejections in a year – read the article here and see what inspired us to do it ourselves!