If you’re a writer, you’re probably well-versed in rejection. Everyone goes through it at least once. Stephen King’s Carrie was famously rejected 30 times before it was published, and even JK Rowling received “loads” of rejections when she was trying to sell Harry Potter. Unfortunately, it’s a huge part of the writing process — and, unsurprisingly, life.
Writer Kiki Schirr knew this. That’s why, at the beginning of 2018, she decided to set herself a goal: she wanted to collect 100 rejections by the end of December. She planned to do this by applying for opportunities she believed she never had a chance at getting. But it turns out, it was actually a lot harder than she thought.
At the beginning of the year, I made an oath to receive 100 rejection letters by Dec 31 so I started applying for tons of out-of-my-league opportunities.
But at this rate, I won't be able to achieve my goal
…because many of my responses are acceptances!
Take more chances.
— Kiki Schirr (@KikiSchirr) May 27, 2018
That’s right — Schirr had such a hard time meeting her 100 rejections goal because she couldn’t stop getting those pesky acceptances!
Some of you may find this surprising. It’s possible that you’ve applied to certain opportunities, time and time again, only to rack up the rejections. Schirr’s story should give you at least a little comfort, and hopefully the inspiration to step out of your comfort zone and reach for the stars.
In a piece for Medium, Schirr explained how her rejection experiment changed her mindset about success, as well as her life: “One thing I’ve always struggled with is putting myself out there, especially when it comes to my writing. Writing, especially fiction writing, is a game of numbers. The more often you’re rejected, the more often those rare acceptances will come through.”
It looks like Schirr has officially found the key to success: just trying. Even when there seems to be no hope at all. Even when you’re nearly positive you’ll fail. Even when it means failing over and over and over again. Sometimes you just have to take the leap blindly, expecting rock bottom, to find your wings.