The Full Rejection

As much as you convince yourself you are okay with rejection–actually expecting rejection–it still hurts when it comes.

I’ve had a full out with a dream agent for a month now. I have steeled myself for the worst, but, as is human nature, I fantasized about that agent requesting The Call. At the very least, I thought I would get some feedback so I could gain insight into how to improve.

And then, this morning, I got the email. Great premise, not enthusiastic enough, please think of us next time. Of course I’m grateful that I got the request in the first place and that someone took the time to read my manuscript, but I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t hurt like hell. You never realize how high you’ve gotten your hopes up until it all comes crashing down.

I’m trying to keep it in perspective. I still have two fulls out right now, one with another dream agent. All it takes is one yes, and I know that. All of my requests have come from having sample pages with my query, which definitely gives me confidence about the writing, but I’m still worried that it will all fall through. I can rationalize all of this pretty well, but it’s pretty much impossible to be emotionally unattached to your work, you know? I want it to succeed. A rejection to a full request is not the end of the world, but it still sucks. I can rationalize that, too.

My hope for the other two fulls out is that I’ll receive feedback, although if it’s just not a right fit, what else can they say? Of course, my overarching hope is that I’ll be scheduling a call to talk to an agent and will take that next step, but that’s everyone’s hope. That’s the dream.

I won’t stop dreaming.

Keep on Keepin’ On

I’ve been MIA mostly because there hasn’t been much to report. I have three full manuscripts out with agents and have received quite a few query rejections. The fulls are thrilling, addicting occasions. The rejections? Usually I can handle them, but when a whole slew of them comes one after another, I find myself depressed. I know I shouldn’t; this is my first book, and I’m 22. I have a whole career ahead of me, so I shouldn’t sweat this first learning experience. However, this book means so much to me, and I want to give it a chance to be heard.

I revamped my query letter based on some sample ones I’ve found. I’m a huge fan of querytracker.net, which has been an indispensable tool during this crazy process. They have success stories posted. Someone sends the same interview questions to anyone on QT who has signed with an agent, and one of the questions is if the user would be comfortable sharing their query letter. Most do. I realized that mine was a little off the mark–I had more information about the market of the book and its themes rather than a back-of-the-cover blurb like most other letters I saw. Interestingly enough, though, my original query has generated more positive responses than this new one. Such a confusing game.

I’ve been trying to query in batches, waiting to see how my query letter is doing now that I’ve made some changes to it, but it’s so hard to keep any semblance of patience. I’d really love to hold off querying until I have at least one response on a full, but we’re entering into the holiday season, which means that soon enough I won’t be able to query. To keep my mind off of the endless conundrums, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, which I’ve never done before because I’ve never really had an idea worth fleshing out. I’m happy to say that I’ve already got a bit over 3,000 words on paper, and I don’t hate them. Success! It would be delightful to have a second project to labor over, but sticking with things hasn’t always been my forte. I’m working on it.

Luckily, I’m the master of distraction, so when I’m not writing, I’m binge-watching American Horror Story or playing vintage video games on an emulator I downloaded last week. (Pokemon Blue, anyone?) The waiting has definitely gotten easier, but I still jump every time my phone chimes with a new email. Still, it’s progress.