- Hetal Avanee
rejection ALWAYS hurts
JK Rowling, Nora Roberts, JRR Tolkein, George RR Martin
What do they all have in common besides being number 1 sellers, publishing titans, and living in castles?
They've all been rejected. Several times. Sometimes for the oddest of reasons and not always in the nicest ways. (Click on any name above to see an example/their thoughts on rejections)
So Tuesday I'm just la-dee-daing through my day, counting down to the moment that Tiffany will release more FicFest mentee names. And I get an email.
Expectation tightens my belly.
My fingers shake with nerves as I drop everything else, unlock my phone, and open my gmail app.
And there it is.
A form rejection.
I took it hard.
So hard that my body kinda...shut down.
I know rejection is a part of any business, it's naive to think it's not. I've come to accept form rejections off cold queries. If the agent is anything like I was while reading FicFest entries, then they go with their gut and need that visceral reaction right away. I get that. Better than ever now that I've read so many hopeful's amazing words.
But this agent had already experienced that reaction, and had asked for more pages.
THEY WANTED MORE! YAY! Joyous of joys, hazzah, and confetti littering the floor that I later had to vacuum. The pages were sent and I sat back and waited for the next email which surely would be a request for the full. Right? Right! It's the natural progression of things.
But that's not what happened to me. It was a form rejection, without advice or insight. Cold and impersonal. From an agent I admire and would've loved to have worked with but whom I still follow on Twitter cause they are chock full of good advice.
This, folks, is my most recent example of the objectiveness of this business. What they loved in the first chapter was found lacking in the next four. Something that had grabbed them within my first 9 pages didn't hold their attention/love/excitement for the next 41.
And it hurt.
So I cuddled that hurt, cuddled my babies, cuddled under the covers, and hid.
The next day I opened Query Tracker and marked that query closed.
I try not to look at the little red frustrated face that adorns that entry. Especially hard since I'm obsessed with query stats and agent comments.
42 total queries/submissions
18 still open
9 of which are closed without a response :(
My next batch of 25 queries is ready to be sent once I've heard back from some of the still open items out in the big wide world.
Again, to my wonderful mentee Christina: I'm so sorry I missed Tiff's announcement of our partnership in the moment that it was made. You're a trooper. I hope this mentorship works in all the ways you need for your MS.
Maybe you'll even tell the world how it's going sometime in one of my upcoming posts?