I hit a new record the other day, three rejection e-mails in one day. Even though all three were rejections, do not feel sorry me. In fact, I'm rather proud that I received this many rejections in such a short period of time, and here's why.
For one thing, it shows I'm being productive. It means I've been writing and submitting my work at a reasonable rate. Naturally, it is always better if at least one of those rejections were an acceptance letter, but in some ways publishing fiction is a numbers game. You have to get your work out there to as many publications as possible in order to become successful.
Aside from that, I also received feedback. Only one of the three rejections was a form letter, and that actually from the smallest publication. The middle sized publication provided me with a small note asking me to keep sending them my work, and the largest of the three publications actually provided me with some very personal and helpful suggestions. This was a professional paying publication that actually commented that my piece was "well written" and offered a suggestion for revision.
But most importantly, at the end of the day, no one really cares about how many rejections one receives, only how many successes they achieve. There are very few exceptions to this, although I will state that one exception is Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which holds the word's record for the most rejections before becoming a New York Times best seller, after being rejected 121 times.
The point is, writers need to make goals for how many submissions they make in order to subvert the depression of inevitable rejections. All writers receive a great deal of rejection letters in their careers, and this is why it is imperative to aim for a number of submissions, and let the rejections and acceptances come as they may.
That's my advice for this week. Happy writing, and feel free to use this image for inspiration: