Monday, September 15, 2014

Duck, duck, published by Leanne Dyck

So what's my acceptance rate? How many "no"s do I need to hear until I hear a "yes"?

For Laurie, a virtual tour of the Japanese gardens on Mayne Island

Did you ever play 'duck, duck, goose'. It's a fun children's game were everyone sits in a circle except one child. That child--let's say she's a little red haired girl--walks around the circle placing her hand on everyone's head. And as the little red haired girl walks, she chants, "Duck, duck, duck." 

All the photos that appear on this blog have been taken by Leanne Dyck
-unless otherwise stated.

Of course, all the other children silently wish they would be picked. Everyone does--every single child.. But of course everyone can't be picked--only one.

"Goose," the little red haired girl says, loudly.

'It', the child who has been picked, jumps up and runs around the circle. If 'It' runs faster than the little red haired girl he gets published. Ah, wait. Hmm, I don't think that's right. I don't think you get published. I think that belongs to another game--a game I call 'no, no, no, no, no, no, yes.' 

In this game I mail a brilliantly worded manuscript, synopsis and cover letter to a publisher. I know I will be chosen because...well, I've told you, what I've sent is brilliant. So they have to choose me. When they don't I feel deflated. Although, I've been feeling less deflated, lately.


Well, because not that long ago I was a participant in a informative (and free) workshop, given by a generous and established author.
During the workshop the author asked, "What's your acceptance rate?"

My what? I wondered, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

"What's your acceptance rate," the author asked, again. "You know how many no's do you need to receive to get to a yes."

Wait, I thought, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. That's how you play this game?

"Mine is about 2%," she told us.

Someone else sitting amongst us said, "That's high, mine's about 5%."

Hold on. Wait a minute, I wanted to scream. That means if the brilliant, talented author who'd been picked to talk to us...that means if she sent out twenty brilliant talented manuscripts four would be picked to be published.

Okay, so let me write that again--so I can try and get my head around it.

20 submissions = 4 published pieces


And that's if you're brilliant and talented. If you're a little less brilliant, a little less talented...

20 submissions = 1 published piece

This realization helped me do two things. First, I started really cracking out the submissions--I've sent 56 since January 6th. And it also helped me see that each and every rejection is leading me to that acceptance. Each and every rejection will eventually get me published--especially if I learn from the feedback I receive and continue to sharpen my writing skills.

Everyone clear on the rules? Okay, let's play...

Sharing my author journey...
Yesterday, I attended a memorial service for a dear friend who helped guide me into the wonderful world of writing. My words were strengthened and made more beautiful by her. Her gentle nudges gave me the courage I needed to submit my work. She will be dearly missed and always remembered.