Pretty much the second my post about waiting for agent responses hit your screens last month, rejections hit my inbox. You know that saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs?” For me, it was raining No’s and Also No’s.
I took it hard – harder than I should have for someone who’s been through this before with another novel. The reason is something I’m going to confess to you even though it casts me in an unflattering light, because… I don’t know, there’s just something about you, random internet stranger, that makes me feel like I can open up to you.
I had been cocky.
I had this notion that all these agents would be DAZZLED by my premise and come pounding at my door for the chance to read more. When those agents were distinctly not pounding, my big fat arrogance-balloon got its air let out and went “ssppffflllll” around the room.
Then came the fear. Had I misjudged it? What if my book was actually a flaming pile of garbage? I opened my first few chapters to panic-edit and found sentences so terrible I couldn’t believe they snuck past me before. What else had I missed??
At the same time, though… I rediscovered things I loved about the story. Those things calmed my doubts and invigorated my motivation. I remembered how much I believe in this book.
So after that brief flail-a-thon, I got back on even ground. Weirdly enough, feeling less than rock-solid certain about my novel makes rejections… easier? …to take? When you’re cocky, any contradiction to that pulls the rug out from under your feet. When you’re cocky, anything less than success makes you cry out “BUT WHY??” But when you’re humble, you get to feel hopeful. You get to focus on the delight of the maybe. You get to feel gratitude for any progress you make. When you’re hopeful, you get to look at what’s ahead. Rejection feels bad, but hope… Hope feels good. 🙂
For those of you also in the query trenches, how is it going? Had any bites on the line?