Earlier this week I received an acceptance for a short story (hooray!) and it occurred to me that these acceptances seem to be adding up. I went through my records and discovered that it was, in fact, my tenth story accepted for publication. Wow! I’m not sure why ten feels so much bigger than nine. Is it because it takes up more geography on the page when written numerically? The natural feeling of completeness that resonates from the number ten? I have ten fingers, ten toes, and now ten short story sales. A full two hands’ worth.
My first story was accepted for publication in 2004, so it has taken ten years to get to this point. There were several years in the middle where I was not writing and submitting, due to life issues dominating my brain-space, but the fact remains that it took a long time to get from point A to point B. It feels like a real accomplishment.
I’ve heard time and again that a huge component of success in writing is persistence. Looking at my history, I can see that as absolute truth for me. If I hadn’t taken up my (metaphorical) quill again, if I hadn’t jumped back on the submissions-go-round, I would never have gotten to this point. If I’d let rejections (and there have been over 250 of those) keep me from sending my work out, well, the same truth stands.
So I am taking a moment to soak in this feeling. The feeling that I have accomplished something. And I’m looking ahead to all the words I have yet to write, the rejections I have yet to receive, and the sales that–if I’m persistent and continue honing my craft–I may yet achieve. There is so much more yet to come.