A Week of Writing: 9/20/21 to 9/26/21

The last full week of September was a busy one. Here’s how I did.

Words to Write By

This week’s quote is about rejection for reasons that will soon be clear. It comes from novelist James Lee Burke

“Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.” 

– James Lee Burke

Well, I definitely paid my dues last week. It was one of the rougher rejection weeks I’ve had in some time, and these days it takes some doing for a rejection to get me down (it takes five, actually). Anyway, I really like what James Lee Burke says here, and it speaks to me on a couple of levels. First, those dues you pay with each rejection are reflected in the quality of your work, which improves over time thanks to feedback and the constant revision and growth that comes with rejection. Second, and maybe just as important, is that paying your rejection dues strengthens your resolve and your understanding that a rejection is not the end. It’s just a speedbump along the way. That second bit helps you recover quicker and get your work back out there.

Short Story Submissions

Another productive week in submission land.

  • Submissions Sent: 6
  • Rejections: 6
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 0
  • Shortlist: 0
  • Withdrawn: 1
  • Pending: 15
  • 2021 Total Subs: 87

I was certainly active last week with submissions, and with 87 total, I’m pretty much a lock to hit 100 for the year. My acceptance percentage may be the worst it’s ever been, but it sure as shit won’t be for lack of submitting. Of the six submissions, five are the result of rejected stories going back out again. The last is a brand new flash piece on its inaugural submission. (Good luck, little flash story.) The six rejections are not so bad when you look at the total number. When you take into account that five of them arrived in the same day . . . well, yeah, that sucked. In case you’re wondering, yes, five rejection in a single day is a personal record. Unfortunately, when you have a ton of submissions pending, you take the chance that the stars will align, and you’ll have a double, triple, or even a quintuple rejection day. Just gotta dust yourself off and get back to work.

I also hit a significant submission milestone last week. I sent my 600th submission since I’ve been tracking them through Duotrope. For a detailed breakdown on those 600 subs, check out this post.

The Novel

Less progress last week than the week before, but I continue to revise Hell to Play. As I’ve said in previous updates, I’ve come to the part of the novel where the most work needs to be done, so it’ll be slower going here. That’s okay, though. I want to do it right. In other novel news, I’m preparing my novel Late Risers for another submission. I’ll be working on the submission package this week. You know, the synopsis, my author CV, that kind of thing.

Commission Work

Last week, I began work on another set of short stories for Privateer Press set in their Warcaster: Neo-Mechanika setting. It’s an epic sci-fi world with a touch of fantasy, and it is a blast to write in. I’ll be finishing up preliminary briefs for each story (like short outlines) and submitting them for approval this week.


Same as last week: commission work, novel stuff, submissions.

That was my week. How was yours?

2 Comments on “A Week of Writing: 9/20/21 to 9/26/21

  1. Sorry about the quintuple rejection day. You’ll probably write about this next week, so I won’t play spoilers (too much), but I hope the contest placing has softened the blow.

    • Thanks, Jason. It stung a little, but since I’m such a stat nerd, I was also secretly pleased to have beaten my personal record. lol

      Yes, the third-place finish in The Arcanist’s contest definitely has the week off to a MUCH better start. 🙂

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