Year End Essays

Year End Essays-21
Because obviously, those 22 submissions weren't 22 individual works. Are there any craft-related titles on the list, like Stephen King's ?

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18 of those were rejected, two are still pending response, and 2 were accepted.

Again, I could look at this 18/2 ratio and determine that I'm a hack who should just stop embarrassing himself by sending out terrible fiction that nobody wants, save for two magazines who were probably just taking pity on me.

Sometimes, we have to go back before we can move forward, and what better time to review than at the onset of a new year?

Examining the steps you took as a writer (and a human being) in 2014 will better define the steps you take over the course of the next 365 days. Don't think too hard about these, just rattle them off as quickly as you can.

Let's explore a few means of looking back that aren't too time-consuming, as well as some of the best practices for keeping track of your accomplishments over the next year. These beacons of self-accomplishment don't even have to be writing-related—"getting engaged" tops my list—but if you do find that zero out of ten relate to your literary aspirations, then perhaps more time should be spent focusing on these goals in 2015.

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They begin showing up as early as November: top ten books of the year, top ten movies, top ten shows, top ten memorable news moments, top ten live TV fails, top ten GIFs, top ten Buzz Feed top ten lists, etc. Of course, if you have nothing to show from the previous year, don't bemoan this fact or get discouraged—what you have is not a setback, but an opportunity.

And if you keep this up year after year, you'll see your career advancing like so many turned calendar pages.

Assuming you keep a journal (and I recommend it highly), it's nice to page through all your entries from the previous year as a refresher on all the ups and downs, good times and bad. Maybe you wrote out all the things you wanted to change about yourself in the coming year, all the goals you wanted to accomplish. Maybe you wrote a top ten list last year—how does it stack up to this year's?

Assuming you have a Duotrope account (and you most definitely, DEFINITELY should), go to the "Your Submissions" section of the site and play around with the different filters, focusing primarily on the ratio of pieces sent out, acceptances, rejections and pending responses (I got this idea from Richard Thomas, by the way).

Now, you might think seeing the actual number of times your work was rejected over the course of 2014 would be a bit depressing, and you'd be right—it CAN be, but it doesn't have to be.


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