February was quite a month over at Rejection Central (my apartment). In the second month of my quest for a year filled with rejection, I’ve already DOUBLED my success rate. If you’re new on the scene, you can read about the 2016 Ultimate Rejection Project here
In January, I scored a piddly ONE rejection off the 15 submissions of articles, scripts, videos and pitches I sent out into the world. This month? I got TWO! But they weren’t just any two. This month, I hit the crown jewel of rejections. I got a “no” from the New York Times!!!
“But Liz,” you may be thinking. “Doesn’t pretty much EVERYONE get rejected by the New York Times?”
No dude. No, they don’t. To be IGNORED AND DELETED by the New York Times may be a commonplace occurrence, but to actually get rejected by them? It takes a lot of work. I submitted a super personal essay to the NYT’s parenting blog months ago. I got ignored. I sent it again. Ignored. Then I sent it a third time with a pushy note about how highly relevant it was and tying it to a popular hard news story. Then, I got back a heart-stopping, soul-inflating personal email back from the editor. She said “I’m thinking about this one.”
Ermagerd ermagerd erma-GERD!!!! It was a “maybe!!!!”I was up for consideration. By the fancy-pantsiest news source in the world. Cut to a full week of me dance-a-brating to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory everywhere I went.
Aaaaaaaaaand then I got a “No.” It was a thoughtful “no” though. It was a “no” with an explanation and a pat on the back. “Keep writing,” she said.
Some very smart, fancy pants writers I know said I should consider it a huge accomplishment. And I do. I mean,…it’s not the accomplishment I WANTED, but I do have a crowning achievement for my Rejection Project just two months in. Plus, it inspired me to send my article to a slew of other places, which earned me ANOTHER very supportive rejection letter from an editor who said she’d love to use the story, but was quitting her job in a week so wouldn’t have a chance to feature it.
I made a commitment last month to attempt to double the amount of submissions that I made in an effort to up my rejection harvest, but one week into the month I got slightly sidetracked by giving birth….
In case you were about to tell me “that’s no excuse Liz!” I want you to know that the night I came home from the hospital I DID attempt to submit my drama pilot in the Sundance Episodic Storytelling Lab competition, but there was this…like…BABY in the house? And he was like….CRYING and stuff, so at 11:56 PM, 3 minutes before the deadline, I had to accept that there was no way in Hell I was going to be able to pull a descriptive essay on the story arc of the entire first season of my imagined series out of my butt. Sorry Redford. You’ll have to wait until next year.
I did send out a slew of query letters for my novel on the last day of the month, and I don’t want to spoil next months post, but lemme just say things are looking good when it comes to me getting smacked down in March!