Collect 100 Rejections This Year

What if instead of fearing rejection we purposefully aimed for 100 rejections a year?

There is a famous study about ceramic students. Half the class gets the whole semester to work on creating the perfect piece. The other half of the class must create a new piece every single day. At the end of the quarter “the works of highest quality came from the group being graded on quantity, because they had continually practiced, churned out tons of work, and learned from their mistakes.”

The results may not surprise you, yet how often do we wait, and try to create the perfect application, or the perfect blog post, or the perfect speech?

The first group of students “spent most of the semester paralyzed by theorizing about perfection.” Have you experienced this? I certainly have.

There is another way. In Kim Liao’s piece Why You Should Aim For 100 Rejections a Year she encourages us to “collect rejections. Set rejection goals… Shoot for one hundred rejections in a year, because if you work that hard to get so many rejections, you’re sure to get a few acceptances, too.”

If we flip our perspective on submissions and aim for rejections rather than acceptances, we’ll no longer dread submitting, and won’t flinch (as much) when we receive the inevitable rejections.

Will you take the 60-Day Rejection Challenge with me? Sounds weird right? If we don’t fear rejection, I just know we’ll surprise ourselves. Potential rejections could be asking someone on a date, applying to speak at a conference, submitting a piece to a publication, applying for a job or asking for a raise. Nothing is too big or too small. I’m starting today and will check in with you every few weeks.

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3 Comments on “Collect 100 Rejections This Year

  1. I am courting rejection this year. I’ve committed to submitting at least 100 poems, stories, essays, reviews and residency applications in 2017.

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