May 13, 2010

You've got (cringe and hold breath) mail

          I'm starting to dread checking my email. It used to be a pleasurable experience. One I looked forward to. Now as I watch my inbox open up on the screen I wonder, "Is there more bad news?"
          The subject line doesn't give it away. So I have that moment where I see the email is from a literary agent I have queried and think, "Maybe this is it!" And there are those agonizing few seconds while I wait for it to open. Then I start to read and... Well for me, so far, there's only been one outcome. Rejection.
          You see, I'm a writer trying to get published. Which means every day brings a chance for a new rejection. I've only received six so far. That is nothing in the publishing world. It doesn't even place me in the category of a "real" writer. But I'm definitely on my way. 
          I have developed a healthy respect for literary agents. They work incredibly hard. I don't even know how they manage to have actual lives with everything they have going on. And I have received some of the nicest rejections. The majority of my rejections have been personal; they complimented my work and told me not to give up. The end is always the same - it just isn't "the right fit." Publishing, I've been told over and over, is a very subjective business.
          I am receiving lots of encouragement. From other writers and from members of my target audience who have read excerpts from my book. They love it. They can't wait for it to be published. I'm developing quite a cheering section. And I'm not talking about friends and family. These are people I have never met. They have no reason to be nice. They could easily bash my work if they wanted to.
          Their positive feedback has been wonderful. Now, if an agent could just show interest and request a copy of my proposal...
          But actually, I think my membership into the writers' club requires me to suffer a little bit longer.


  1. I totally get all you are saying, I also dread the querying process and highly commend anyone who goes there. Seek respite in the knowledge that many a best selling author has been where you are and thought the exact same thoughts.
    If you visit my blog it will link you to a very inspirational story about a writer who never gave up and was published March 5th of this year.
    I, too have built a little community around myself, how you and I got to chatting and it really helps. I haven't told any of my friends and family about my blog or my twittering as I want the followers to be ones who want to read what I have to say instead of being forced!
    So keep drawing on us, that's what us writers aspiring or not, are here for, as one day you may help another who is feeling the way you do now, don't give up!

  2. Right there with you! I'm just getting over my most recent rejection. I need a thicker skin if I'm going to continue what I love... writing! Great post.
    - Jen

  3. Thanks for the heads up on what to look forward to - I'm not even at the rejection point yet, I just have an idea!

  4. Don't give up, Elizabeth! Someone once told me that each "no" gets you closer to the right "yes." Sounds cliche, I know, but there's truth to it.

  5. @ Liz I have no intention of giving up!

    @ Abbie - Please don't be discouraged. Just be prepared.

    @ Jennifer - I do have a thick skin, and getting thicker by the day. ;)

    @ Adri - Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. OY... I can totally feel the pain. I've received a lot more than six rejections, but it's a crowded group right now and I hope it'll make an offer of representation that much sweeter.

  7. WOW! Women on WritingMay 14, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    Oh, yes, I think all of us writers know this feeling well! :)

  8. I tried to get an agent for what I now know was a really, really terrible novel about three years ago. I received something like 25 rejections. Now I'm just now starting to query (slowly, I'm scared) about my newest creation. It's a YA novel, it took two years to write, and I need to develop that tough skin again.


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