The good news this weekend has been having two stories accepted on successive days. "Language Lessons" will appear in Blood Orange Review, and "Chekhov's Confession" will appear in The Puritan. I have published dozens of stories but I can't recall receiving acceptance notes one day after another.
It seems to me that in the blizzard of submissions, no matter where you send your stories (or poems), there are a few key rules.
1) Write something good.
2) Try to identify a journal where it would fit based on editorial preferences and practices.
3) Regard every non-acceptance as "declined," not "rejected." Ban "rejected" from your vocabulary. It's a brutal and unfair word.
4) Immediately look for another journal where you can submit what you believe in. Don't think for a minute that a "decline" reflects one way or another on your writing. A few dozen factors--space, the first reader's taste and mood on taking a look at what you've sent in, and on and on--enter into a journal's decision to accept or decline.
5) It's quite likely that you will have to submit a piece ten or twenty times before some journal, just as good and interesting as the previous journals, says yes. This could take a year or two.
6) If you have any doubts about what you've written, reread it and see if you can edit it down. That almost always improves the end product, giving it sharpness and focus. If you don't have any doubts, keep sending it out.
7) Focus on continuing to write and not on the fate of things you've sent out.
8) Keep records (Bento works for me) of where you've submitted things, but don't keep emotional score about how you're doing. There are few "conclusions" to be drawn in writing; what matters is finding ways to say what you want to say.
Causes Robert Earle Supports
World Wildlife Fund