You remember my October Submissions. Submitting a story every day in October, blah blah. I finally got my last response, so can finally give the full picture on how things turned out for me. I know you're excited.
Well, one of them resulted in my first acceptance. "Adventuring" was submitted to Daily Science Fiction on October 29, and in December they got back to me with the acceptance. It was published on April 9.
Of the other 30 submissions, I withdrew one. I'd received no acknowledgement email, according to The Submission Grinder nobody was hearing anything, and a few Googles reflected more of the same, so I sent my withdrawal email in January. I received the acknowledgement of that this week. Time means funny things when it comes to publishing, be it book or magazine.
So of the other 29 submissions, I received 6 personal rejections. The other 23 were form rejections. I think. My personal policy is that if I'm confused even a little about whether it's personal or a form, then it's probably a form. This could be incorrect, but in the absence of consistent and specific guidance, you have to make your own way.
So what did I learn?
One "yes" and (effectively) 30 "no's" can still make me happy.
Many of my stories, which were "good enough", certainly need some manner of work or another. Persistence is one thing, stubbornness is another. Distance (and repeated rejection) helps one be a bit more objective about whether a story is working. And you know? In 2015, I've already received more personal rejections than I had in all my time before now. I'm also submitting more stories, so that may skew things a bit. I've also received a rewrite request, which I'd never gotten before, so we'll see how that plays out.
I need to finish (and/or finish editing and rewriting) more short stories, so I can do it all again this year. It was an interesting exercise, and I think an important one. Being inured to rejection, and to the stress of sending your work to possibly callous strangers, are major things for writers.