Stephen King talks proudly about his rejections in his fantastic book, On Writing:

“By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips I impaled on it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” 

While I don’t have a nail or a spike for my rejections, in part because they come via email now instead of in the mail, I do have an excel spreadsheet that tracks all my submissions: poems sent, date, journal, etc. It also tracks the rejections and the acceptances.

In 2017 I submitted over 200 times. I was rejected a lot, a lot are still pending, but I also got 26 poems and a chapbook accepted for publication. 26 may not sound like a lot but to me, it is. (You can read my published poems here.)

A lot of  writers don’t want to talk about publishing – either they’re not interested in it or they don’t want to be measured against it. I understand that, and while I don’t measure my success solely in terms of publications, it is a nice way to know that my poems mean something to someone other than me. That my words connected with someone else.

So while I don’t measure myself solely based on publications, I’m going to keep submitting and hoping for publications. I’m going to keep putting myself and my writing out there. I hope you do the same.