Rejection

Caution: This post contains hazardous amounts of self-absorbed whininess. Read at your own risk.

I need to tell you something.

The poop query failed. I know – it’s hard for me to believe too. So did another, more thoughtfully crafted query I imagined finely tuned to the agent’s likes and dislikes.

At least the poop query earned a personal response. The latest query – born of over twenty-four hours of research, revising and feedback – got a knee-jerk-lightning-fast-form-letter rejection. Ouch.

I spent the rest of the week contemplating a bonfire with the lot of it. Everything. I was ready to burn things that even reminded me of the book, including my crappy desk chair.

I know, for example, editors rejected Stephen King’s Carrie thirty times and I don’t possess a fraction of the talent the man has in his pinkie fingernail.  Rejection is a part of writing. I must embrace it as a vocation-affirming victory or some happy bullshit. Some writers are rejected hundreds of times and still go on to publish.

Yes, I know it’s only five measly rejections and that’s nothing – and two of them were with a crappy query letter. From a logical standpoint, I understand rejection is not personal and I need to learn and move on. Grow from the experience, right?  I’m aware of the overwhelming odds and the thin rewards of publishing.

The entire prospect of writing – of taking time away from family and friends to do something so vain and self-indulgent is hard to justify. So many times I thought (and think) of walking away.

Not that writing and pursuing publishing is inherently selfish or vain – I’m not talking about you or the other 99.9% of writers. Me, I’m a different story. I’m astonished at my hubris for contemplating the thing to begin with.

On this journey, I got positive feedback from some professionals on Panacea – that it was publishable and full of promise.  I thought … maybe I should do this. And my characters, aka my imaginary friends, nagged and cajoled.

But I don’t think I’m cut out for this … I can barely post a blog entry without feeling like a tremendous gasbag. Look at me! I’m writing! You’re reading the words of a woman incapable of updating her Facebook status.  Every aspect of this is so contrary to my fly-under-the-radar nature.  

Here I am posting on the subject. My blog-voice prattles on. I can’t stand to be in the same room as myself and the sad thing is – I can’t leave.  Gah, if you’ve read this far, my apologies. But think how awful it is for me, I listen to this crap continuously.

10 Comments

  1. Nancy Paul

    It doesn’t really sound like you are feeling rejected.
    Rather more like say an upright comic.
    Keep up the good work!!!

  2. You’re definitely not alone on the rejection front, and it did make for a funny post! However, I don’t think you can contemplate bonfires until you’re at least in the triple digits.

    1. Triple digits? Well, at least now I have something to aspire to. And the real bonus: it will provide plenty of kindling for the bonfire!

  3. Miranda Lois

    I could have written this post. Rejection stings. It just does. I too, question my continued to devotion to writing when I have work and family. I supposed all we can do is keep plugging away!

    1. And develop thick skin as the rejections pile up…

  4. What resources are you using to find agents? I’m querying agents as well and I’ve found a ton of tools- I’d love to swap resources with you sometime.

    1. Hi Kate,
      I would love to hear what you’re doing. I start on http://querytracker.net/ and then from there I stalk – er I mean research – agents, reading their blogs, interviews and websites. Someone recently recommended another service to me: http://www.writersrelief.com/ and while I can’t personally speak to their services, they came highly recommended. Looks like they take a lot of the hassle out of submitting (for a fee) – IF they accept you. Not sure what I’d do if they rejected me… maybe revisit the burn-pile idea…

  5. Karen… you have a wonderfully witty writing style.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  6. […] back before I found Agent Sara, while I was still submitting my first novel, I talked about rejection from a writer’s point of view. But there’s another side to the rejection […]

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