I always feel like a bit of a fraud when I share happy writing news. The minute I hit send on the email announcing a new essay published or a residency application accepted, I immediately want to take it back, say, "Wait, wait, wait. This isn't real."
I'm sure a small part of that feeling is my own reluctance to accept my achievements, but most of it is the fact that it feels like a complete lie to be an artist and only share the good news. Because the truth is that, most of the time, what I receive is bad news. Sometimes on a daily basis. One time I actually received three rejections in a single day. That's why, every time a friend responds with amazement at my good fortune, I want to say, "I swear it's not what it seems. I swear I just spent the last year of my life questioning my work, doubting my style, and sure that I have no worth as a writer."
So. For the sake of being honest about this life, and for the sake of not pretending like any of this is easy, I've gone through my Duotrope account and taken screen grabs of all of my rejections over the past three years. (Keep in mind: I barely submitted anything in 2015 since I was recovering from the pressure of my MFA program and the pressure I put on myself to produce.)
Basically what this means is that, for the six pieces I've had published in the past three years, I've had one hundred and one rejected.
Those, my friends, are terrible odds.
Keep in mind, this list doesn't include the seven residencies I was rejected from this past year, nor does it include the fact that Hedgebrook breaks my heart and rejects me every single year.