I am a people pleaser. I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb asking the medical staff if there was anything I could do for them. I invariably want to go out of my way to make sure everyone is happy, but my ambitious goal is not necessarily always an attainable goal. In the words of John Lydgate, later adapted by President Lincoln, ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’.
As a young writer, back in my grade school days, I was afraid to let people read my poetry for fear they would not like it. That same phobia applied to my poems and short stories through high school and college. Writing, for me, is the biggest part of myself and I used to feel that if people didn’t like my writing, they were somehow rejecting ME. It wasn’t until I began the process of seeking an agent or a publisher that I began to truly understand how rejection makes us stronger.
I received my most recent rejection last night. It was a curt line that simply said, “Thanks for submitting, but I’m afraid this one isn’t for us. ” Instead of feeling unsettled by such a quick and negative response, the thought in my head was more of understanding that my book was not a true fit for their collection. I wasn’t sad. I was merely determined to continue the quest to find an agent that would best be suited for ME and not the other way around.
Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. Hemingway said it best when he quipped, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” My blood is now the ink on the pages that I crafted. My skin is much thicker now than it was and I am more than prepared to deal with my overwhelming share of the writing world’s brush-off. Those abrupt dismissals are the constant in the ‘writer seeking publishing’ equation and I am prepared to rework the problem until I come up with an acceptable answer.
To bastardize Sally Field’s 1985 Oscar acceptance speech, “They don’t like me. Right now, they don’t like me.” And I’m okay with that because, someday, that will change.
This one wasnt meant to be because there is a different path waiting for you 😊
I feel the same way! ❤
Sorry to hear about the rejection. It’s a sad reality in this business. Often it’s not even a personal one. Agents can get 1,000 queries a week and yet are only able to take on a few new clients a year. Tough math, for sure—for both the agent and the writer.
I subscribe to a site called Query Tracker. I can track my submissions as well as all of the other submissions the agents receive, and the number of query closures due to no response is staggering.
I’ve used that in the past too. Very helpful site. In fact, I might be the one who steered you that way. Seems we’ve had this conversation before. Then again, my addled brain feels that way about a lot of conversations. 😄
Yes, I do believe you are right! It is extremely helpful.
Yours is the perfect attitude to have. Requesting a full means your book is most likeky publishable, so you’ve conquered the hardest part. Keep trying. You’ll make it!
Thanks Hellis. If nothing else, I am extremely persistent! 🙂
I’m sorry to hear this, Susan. Rejection comes with the territory, but if you continue to press on, the payoff is worth it.
Thanks, Jill. My tenacity will win this battle. I have hope. 🙂
This was a pleasure to read. That opening line was perfect.
…and even if it were to be published that doesn’t mean adoration, fabulous reviews and interviews on the Today Show. Just walk through a book store and see how many dreams are waiting to come true!
Totally agree. Although, one step at a time and a lot of perseverance helps!