Remember when I was all excited about that agent who requested Summer Rush? Well, she passed on it. So have four other agents to date.
Yes. I’ve begun the frightening business of querying, and its very close cousin, being rejected. Writing a query letter is hard. Sending it out to agents is harder. Being rejected is harder still. Five rejections are just a drop in the bucket compared to what I’m expecting to go through before I can proudly say I have an agent.
I’ve spent enough time pondering and wondering and considering queries and agents and rejection and submission to become quite philosophical about it, so here are my thoughts.
Contests that get your work in front of agents are fabulous. I got my four original bites for Summer Rush through an awesome contest. I got my first rejection from one of those agents, and she was so kind and helpful that, although it was my first ever rejection, I felt almost optimistic. Sure, I whined and wailed and hated myself and my writing for a day or two, but when I took a second look at her very personalized letter, I realized she was encouraging me, so I geared up and decided to keep querying.
A kind rejection can make such a huge difference. With the next three agents, I got a brief rejection, a form rejection, and a sweet letter (she was my favorite, and the one I was most bummed about). Again, the last one was very sweet and encouraging. She had to pass on my book because she’d recently gotten another similar project, but she told me to keep at it.
Agents are really pretty normal, and I like ’em. They’re good people. They sign their emails with just their last name and they even use emoticons. It’s hard for me not to feel like a lowly serf offering my raggedy novel to the Agent Gods when I query, but everyone’s been really nice. I’m looking forward to meeting more people in the agent world.
The publishing world is the best place ever. I’m bummed about my rejections. Sometimes I’m insecure about my worth as a writer. But I don’t think I’d ever want to do anything else. Maybe I’m too young to plan out my whole life according to my feelings now, but I feel more confident than ever that this is what I want to do – rejection, highs, lows, failures, and successes. I’ll take it all.