One trick a lot of writers use to keep stories on the market is to send a story back out the same day it comes back. That way stories don’t linger, and it takes some of the sting out of the rejection.
It’s also inefficient. Even if you have an ordered list of the next market for a story, each time you get a rejection, you have to check the list, double-check that you don’t already have something at that market, triple-check the guidelines (I can’t be the only one who’s ever accidentally sent something that’s too long, or too short), and finally send it off.
Not exactly onerous, true. But what if Story A comes back, and you send it to Awesome Stories, which is only open for one week every five months–and then Story B comes back the next day, and the only market left on its list is Awesome Stories, so now it will sit on your computer for five more months.
Ok, the chance of that happening is pretty slim. But it does.
For me it’s much simpler to deal with submissions once a week. I pretty much ignore rejections during the week. Sometimes I don’t even log them right away. (Acceptances, on the other hand, get dealt with instantly.) Every weekend I sit down with a list of stories to send out and decide which one is going where. In the scenario above, Story B goes to Awesome Stories. Story A has three other markets it can go to and still be back in time for Awesome Stories’s next reading period. Story C has 35 rejections and can go to this market with a 607-day response time so I don’t have to think about it for a while.
Then the rest of the week, I can leave my secretary hat off and just deal with the writing parts of writing.