A consequence of writing is rejection. It’s part of the game. If you can’t take it, you’ve picked the wrong profession. But the irony is most writers are also insecure. They write their creations and display it for the world, hoping for the best but fearing for the worst. And believe me, now matter what you write, you will get the worst.
Rejection lines the path of writing from the beginning of the process with no end in sight. First we face beta readers and critique partners. We take their views and advice and hopefully improve our babies in preparation of the next step: the search for an agent. We deal with rejections to queries; rejections to fulls and partials. Then once we acquire the Holy Grail , an agent, we hope to sell our book to a publisher. But we’re not done. When we hold that precious book in our hands and present it to the world, we deal with reviews. Anyone who has visited Amazon knows they can be scathing for no reason other than they didn’t like the description of the hero’s hair.
Every step the ante is raised; the stakes are higher and the fall is deeper.
Writers are masochists. We get beaten down time and time again, only to get back up and hope this time, this next time will be the one the we get the acceptance we crave.
I am querying my novel, Chosen. I admit, I am early in the process. I have only sent out sixteen queries at this point, with three rejections and two requests– a partial and a full. But as of this morning I can say I have four rejections. The agent who requested the full passed on representation.
I wish I could tell you why. I wish I knew why. She told me it pulled her in, said my writing was “terrific” but she didn’t think she could sell it. She encouraged me to query it widely and told me that if I don’t get representation with this book, she would love to see my future projects. If you’re going to get a rejection, this is the one to get. Right? But obviously something was missing, some intangible thing that didn’t grab her and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sting.
I’ve spent the morning trying to lick my wounds. Unfortunately, small children could care less if Mommy has just received sad news. There are still breakfasts to be made, clothes to be washed, groceries to be bought. Life goes on and in the scheme of life, this is small, minuscule. Yet my heart aches and I ask myself for the zillionth time what the hell I am doing, rushing headlong into this career of pain and heartbreak. And I know the answer, though in the embarrassment of my rejection I try to ignore it.
I have no choice. It is part of me. It is who I am.
So today I will allow myself to wallow in my pity party, but tomorrow I will pick myself up and send out more queries and hope the next one is the one.