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The Losing Game: The Numbers


2017 ended just in time for me to start writing the proper year on my rent cheques. I rang in the new year in Toronto with friends, strangers, and party favors; cautiously optimistic, recklessly inebriated. We exchanged jokes, stories, and a socially appropriate* amount of reflection about the past year. * almost

2017 was a lot of things, but mostly it was long. When it slipped quietly into 2018, the countdown caught me off guard, and I thought, "Welp. That was that," as I blew into a squealing noisemaker. Some years end definitively, and when they're done, you can plant a flag in them and move onto your next mission. Not 2017.

2017 has given me lots to carry forward and unpack. One of the things from this past year that I am most excited to excavate is my relationship with the business of writing. I did alright. I submitted more work than ever before, and received rejections right til the bitter end. (Shout out to the dedicated editors of lit journals sending out responses on December 31st while I was day drinking and pretending that my encroaching responsibilities didn't exist. I applaud your hustle.) So here's a good place to start unpacking: the writing year in review. How often do I submit? What is my level of acceptance? What does my submitting game look like? I've got the stats right here for ya. [2017 OVERVIEW FOR WRITING SUBMISSIONS] Total submissions: 54 Number of individual pieces submitted: 68 Highest # of times a single piece has been rejected this year: 4 Highest # of pieces accepted in a single submission: 2 Total Rejections: 46 * (note some may carry over from 2016 submissions) Longest Rejection Streak: 24 Total Acceptances: 6 Total Pieces Accepted: 8 Longest Acceptance Streak: 2 Have not heard back from and will roll over into the 2017 rejection/acceptance count: 15 Ratio in 2018: 7.6 rejections to 1 acceptance.

[2016 OVERVIEW FOR WRITING SUBMISSIONS] Total submissions: 33 Number of individual pieces submitted: 41 Highest # of times a single piece has been rejected this year: 4 Highest # of pieces accepted in a single submission: 2 Total Rejections: 20 * (note some may carry over from 2015 submissions) Total Acceptances: 3 Have not heard back from and will roll over into the 2017 rejection/acceptance count: 12 Ratio in 2016: Almost 7 rejections to 1 acceptance.

So that's the truth of it, the effort and the payoff. Today I set the count back to 0 and start the losing game again. I don't always win, but it's my favourite game to play. So Happy New Year, all. Drink some Gatorade. See you on the game board in 2018. - E. B. Kirsh

Got questions the metrics don't answer? Shoot me a message. I'm not the worst answerer in the world.

#writing #rejection #writers #poet #literature #canlit #2017

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