Monday, January 9, 2012

Recovering from Rejection

I might as well admit to doing a significant amount of crying last Friday when an agent rejected my full manuscript for the first time, since I'm sure you already know it. The first rejection always hurts the worst.

I'm sure the second will be easier, as will the third and fourth and fifth. The sixth will probably hurt just as bad. The seventh will probably hurt worse...

I can't help entertaining fantasies of this agent calling me to say the email was a mistake and she's so sorry because she actually loved my book. This is what happens when you put all your emotional eggs in one unreachable basket. Well, one agent response down and one to go; if the other rejects me, I can start querying again.

I would have liked to email her back and ask for feedback, but I've heard this is inappropriate; 1. If she had feedback, she would have given it to me, and 2. agents often have assistants read queries and manuscripts, so it's possible she didn't even read the book.

The thing that bums me out the most is I want to be one of those authors who can tell the story of how agents fought tooth and nail for my book and how I was in instant success with editors and the novel became a bestseller overnight... all that jazz.

I know, I know, it's ridiculous because the chances are against a writer even getting published. But let's be honest; doesn't every writer entertain that dream? I would have loved to say, "I only had to query one agent because I'm just that good."

That happens, you know... to maybe one out of 10,000 people.

I guess I could say, "I only had to query a dozen agents because I'm just that good," which would still be remarkable, but it doesn't have the same ring to it.

Well, I'm going to buy myself chocolate and sushi because I feel I deserve it, and then I'll move on.


  1. You're right that rejection does get easier...and also right that very few people find success with their first queries.

    As for getting honest might look at conferences in your area where agents/editors look at first pages/synopses/queries and such and give honest feedback. Some contests provide feedback to all also. It costs, but you might consider it worth it...I did that two or three times along the way.

  2. The rejection only got easier once I had another project to focus on. So I hope you've got something else in the works while you query this one :)

    I know of only one author who queried one agent and got representation. I'd say the odds of that happening are more like one in 100,000 lol.

  3. Well, I don't fell alone. Yes, I wished I had that experience of that one query, one agent, that instant yes then Tada! Success. Or...that agent royale to see who gets me? Yeah, a nice fantasy. And it has happened to some.

    You're doing well to accept that rejection happens. For some, many, many times. I've wondered if I wanted to count the times and I'm slowly thinking that could drive me crazy :-)

    I wish you luck as you continue your drive to succeed.

  4. Teralyn, keep the fire burning.

    I've never had the pleasure of getting a rejection letter from an agent so I can't know what that's like. I've gotten rejection letters for published articles in journals. On the bad side, it was pretty dejecting and easy to take personally. On the bright side, my secret "peers" did provide some helpful comments (even though some were mean spirited). Thus, I'd really encourage you to get some feedback, even if you have to pay for it like Ms. Hoffine said above. No matter what the reviewer says, I take them at their word for it, if that's how I made them feel. In my case I rewrote, resubmitted, and got published. I encourage you to do the same.
    What do you think about hiring an editor to give you tips and advice?

  5. I place artists and writers among the bravest people I know. We pour our hearts and souls into our creations and then we bring them to a market of hurt and rejection. If it helps at all, try and think of your manuscript as a product; it isn't who and what you are. It isn't YOU being rejected, and remember that this agent isn't implying your book isn't any good; it's just that she doesn't think she can sell it.

  6. I am not sure if it gets easier... it still feels the same, but you do learn to shake it off a little better.
    Remember that many people never get a full request. I think the important lesson is to keep at it (and another project CAN help, as mentioned above).

  7. Teralyn,

    Nothing worth having ever comes easy, so keep trying!

    Christi Corbett

    PS. In tomorrow's post on my blog I've included a link to your "Blog Critique" event...and gave you an award. It will go up at 1am PST.

  8. Chocolate and sushi are good, but I would add some kettle corn to that list, with a good dvd. Sorry about the rejection.

  9. We all get rejected, so don't feel so bad. I know of no author who was accepted on the first one right out of the gate. (I think they're a myth!) Rejection does get easier and one of the things that makes it easier is jumping into a new project and not obsessing about the same book over and over. Best of luck to you!

  10. =(

    So sorry, deary. I haven't yet submitted my manuscript, so I wouldn't know how you feel.

    BUT--on the brighter side, when you DO get published (and you will, of course) think about how good it will feel! All those rejections will finally pay off--and all the agents that turned you down will regret it because you're a complete success. :)



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