The Numbers

I did this same post last year, and I’d like to continue it as a tradition. It helps me look at what, in terms of writing and submitting, I’ve been doing well, what I’ve been doing poorly, and what I can do to change for the better.

Here are the numbers (in descending order):

117 submissions sent ~ 82 for poetry, 26 for fiction, 6 for my manuscript Swallow Tongue, and 3 for creative nonfiction. 104 electronic. 13 postal.

65 rejections ~ 43 for poetry, 19 for fiction, 2 for creative nonfiction, and 1 for my manuscript, Swallow Tongue.

28 new pieces ~ 25 poems, 3 nonfiction essays, 0 short stories. This should also include a heavily revised manuscript! Last year, I wrote 36 new pieces (33 poems, 3 short stories, 0 nonfiction essays), but I did have a lot going on this year: getting sick, having surgery, postponing my graduation with my MFA from May to August, spending a month in Spain, finally graduating, returning to work full-time, buying a house. I’m thankful I wrote anyway. I also finished cleaning up my writing room (which, since early November, has been the area where I’ve painted furniture), so I can start using that soon enough!

13 acceptances ~ a total of 15 poems and 1 short story.

5-7 hours per week ~ my average time drafting, revising, submitting, reading, and blogging. Down from 15+ last year.

Conclusion: Statistically (based on dividing the number of acceptances by the number of rejections received), my poetry odds are at 28% (12/43) and fiction at 5% (1/19).  Creative nonfiction and my manuscript are at 0%. 😦

Improvements over last year:

1. I kept a more accurate log of my submissions. Before, I kept no log of my hard copy submissions and only e-mail exchanges for the electronic ones. Really bad process. Duotrope was and is a life-saver. 

2. I submitted more hard copy submissions. That’s a feat in and of itself. I submitted to some dream journals which only accept hard copy subs.

Things I can do in 2013:

1. Keep up the accurate log.

2. Write.

3. Submit.

4. Repeat.

Hope you all do your own numbers game and see where you stand. Let’s all be kinder to ourselves and others this year!

3 thoughts on “The Numbers

  1. I also look back to assess my year in writing, at the end of December. I try not to count up the individual rejections and focus on how many of my orphan poems found foster homes (I think it was 11, which is great in a This Is Spinal Tap way).

    I also look back at live readings and venues, when I am tallying up my year.
    But I wish I kept better records like yours, about how many poems were written throughout the year.

    1. Congrats on your acceptances! It’s very cool to find us in the same journal.
      I don’t really do many live readings, especially since I don’t have a /book/. I hope to do more of that once I get a book or chapbook published.
      The only way I keep track of how many poems I write is based on the fact I do draft processes for each one on this blog. It really helps me looking back at how a poem first came about.

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