I've been going through my list of proposals and articles I've sent out since January this year today. I'd got behind on it (never a wise thing to do) and, to be honest, the task was filling me with dread every time I thought about it. I didn't want to be depressed by all the little red crosses signifying a 'no go' article; believe me there have been many! But with gritted teeth and upper lip stiffened I plunged in to the task.
Actually, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there were lots of red X but there were a lot of green smiley faces for a sale too! I have this key system where a red X means No go, a blue X means something pending and a green smiley face means a sale. Every time I see a green smiley face on the chart it makes me smile and think more positive about my writing. It's good for bolstering the spirits and resolve - despite all the red.
So far this year I've sent 31 articles out of which: 20 were accepted for publication - 4 were rejected and 7 are pending a decicion. I also sent outa further 8 proposals of which: one is a possible but waiting for confirmation - five were a no thanks already commissioned similiar article/not right for mag - 2 still waiting for reply!
It pays to keep these records as the stats they throw up are useful for the annual end of year postmortem on how the writing has gone - and how it can be improved. It's also useful to look back and see just how much you've achieved and written in the first place. It can be a quite a shock sometimes to see how much work you've done and is a real confidence boost.
Two of the articles which were originally rejected found homes in other magazines so it really is worth sending them out again if the first editor you send it to says no. Don't forget the small press and free mags either. You might not get paid as much, if at all, but that's not the real point - you are laying down foundations and practising your art, getting your work and name in print. Don't underestimate the power of this. You will have physical evidence to show other editors you have been in print and what you are capable of. But don't make the mistake of thinking that you can send any old rubbish into these smaller mags - you can't. Your writing still has to be of a high standard, so don't think you can get away with being sloppy.
But most of all, have fun and don't give up. Right it's back to my charts!