Saturday, January 11, 2014

I submit to thee, new year

We’re well into 2014, but I still think we’re in a time of reflection, goal-setting, and planning for the months to come.

At the end of 2012, I wrote a blog post about my annual tally of lit journal submissions. It was “the year of 100 submissions,” as I had made—and achieved—that specific goal for 2012. For 2013, though, I didn’t set a defined number for my submission goals; I merely wanted to keep up a rhythm of getting polished pieces out the door amid the busy schedule of traveling, speaking, and major project deadlines.

As 2013 rolled into 2014, I was curious what that meant on paper. If I hadn’t set a specific numeric goal, did that mean my submission productivity dropped? It did, in some ways; yet I am super excited that my actual results weigh in with similarity.

During 2013, I made 46 submissions to lit journals (that’s 46 batches of poetry, short stories, and short nonfiction). Sure, that’s a significant drop, but my results came in very close percentage-wise to the previous year.

Out of those 100 submissions in 2012, 11 were accepted for an 11% hurrah rate. Out of the 46 submissions made in 2013, 5 received a yes for a 10.869% celebration rate. Not bad.

Also significant? There are 12 submissions from 2013, particularly from the late fall, that have not yet received a response at all just yet. So, there’s still some outstanding hope in the mail.

What does this mean? I don’t know. Quality outweighs quantity or something like that. More so, I think it means the better I define and understand where my work fits, the more chance it has of finding a home there.

Shall I set a goal for 2014? Maybe. I already know how busy this year will be on the road, teaching, and with two books on the agenda…. But I really do want to keep sending my work out into the lit journal world. So I think a fair goal is to surpass what I did for 2013, which means I’ll aim for about 50 submissions in this new year.

What about you?

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