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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rejection Collection

An e-mail came across my computer last night that caught my eye. It was about a contest in my local writing group for rejections. Every time you receive a rejection this year, you put a dollar into the Rejection Collection pot. At the last meeting of the year, the person who has put in the most money wins the entire pot.

I was conflicted by this contest. At first I thought, no way will I enter that because who wants to win money for being the biggest loser? Then I considered it some more and realized I wanted to enter the contest for several reasons. First, when will I ever get to win any money again for not being published? At least this way, I will get something out of all my efforts. Secondly, I think being in this contest will inspire me to keep sending my manuscript to agents even if I am rejected. After all, I only have money to gain!

Entering this contest made me think how all of us who are working to be published or struggling with finding the energy and time to write our next manuscript sometimes really need extra motivation.

I just proposed a February writing contest to my critique group in which all of us put $5.00 into a pot, and the person who has written the most words by the end of February wins the pot. Now, if I can't pull myself away from Big Love to write for an hour and win some money then maybe I shouldn't be writing anyway!

I've read several ways writers motivate themselves. One writer has a glass of wine each night after finishing a certain set word count; another writer allows herself a manicure and pedicure at the end of the week if she meets a certain word count goal. I think these are great idea.

I dare you to step out of your box and set a challenge for yourself. Come up with a plan that will inspire you to write more, send out more queries or finally finish that blasted synopsis. Let me know what you come up with because I would love to hear your ideas. I might be able to use them for myself.

I'm off to write!
Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem


  1. Julie,

    What a great idea for a contest! You have to keep us updated on how many rejections the winner gets. I think I'm going to keep my own little jar for my rejections. Hmm, what could I buy with that kind of stash? By the end of the year, it will be a small fortune.

  2. Hmmm...maybe I better figure out ways to reward myself. Never done that. lol I think if I were in your writing group I'd win the rejection pile. I've sure been collecting them lately...but that only means I've been pushing my stories out there to get noticed, right? So this is a good thing. I only have three full historicals that I'm sending around. You'd think at least ONE would get noticed... lol


  3. I love the "most words" contest. I think I'm going to suggest that to my writer's group for February. That is a fantastic idea! :-)

  4. I need motivation and not sure what to do so I will be checking back for ideas too :). I think if the sun ever makes an appearance again I'll be able to write once more. At least that is my current excuse for getting nothing done and I am sticking with it.

  5. I love that idea! I haven't submitted anything in quite some time but I think I'm going to go with Gail's idea of the jar and my collecting my own rejections! I love it! What a great motivation. I'm not as geared up for the words contest in Feb as I thought I was when I agreed to it lol, but I'm gonna do it just the same. Great blog Julie. Love it.

  6. Great post, Julie! The jar for rejections is such a great idea! And I'm excited for our February contest - I think it'll be great fun and hopefully get my butt in gear!

    As for rewarding myself...I wonder if sleep is a good enough motivator? Of course, someone would have to tell Baby Bella that mommy's enjoying her reward and that she'll just have to wait for her bottle or diaper change or cuddles. LOL! Yeah, that's not gonna work. Back to the drawing board!

  7. My motivation to write is the fact that I can do it full time. I'm not in paid employment at the moment (a rare event) and I use every hour I can to work on my stories. I think I might have to return to other work later this year so I can't waste time.

    I am in on our Feb Contest though. I've got lots to get out of my head.

  8. I think since some agents never respond if they aren't interested, every time you submit you could put a dollar in a jar. At the end of the month, maybe you could go out to eat with a friend or have a massage. I guess it would depend on how many queries you send out. I set goals and deadlines for myself. To me, the reward is sending my wip to my best friend to read. She doesn't hold back on her praise. :)

  9. Julie, I love the idea about a rejection collection jar. I think that incentive would have worked for me.