This article Mistakes Writers Make When Submitting to Literary Magazines published on the Aerogramme Writers’ Studio site and republished from Carve magazine is a great reminder of all the things we know, but somehow, sometimes, choose to overlook.
The physical things – follow the guidelines, keep track of submissions, do your research, etc, are all useful stuff, but the one point that I found really worth remembering is:
Taking rejections too personally and not submitting enough
Even the most brilliant stories will get rejected, and as a writer, you have to come to terms with the fact that you will get (many) more no’s than yes’s. Sometimes your story may not be right for a particular issue, or may not connect with a particular editor. Don’t let the rejections get you down. In many ways, this is a numbers game, and the goal is to get the right piece to the right journal at the right time. That’s hard to do, and chances are it’s going to take a lot of submissions before you get an acceptance.
Oh yes! Intellectually I know that this is absolutely true. So why does every rejection bring forth the thought: Well, I don’t know why I’m bothering – I may as well stop right now…?