Like a record baby when you go down down... and I am just right back where I started.
You think rejection gets easier. And in a way, it does. I barely blink when I get a query rejection. That’s a superficial rejection really. The agent wasn’t up for the idea. They aren’t taking on paranormals or supernaturals or whatever I’m trying to sell them. Or they’re in an ‘MG’ phase and not really looking for YA, even though it says YA on their website.
The problem is, the deeper you go into this process the bigger and more painful the rejection gets.
You get a request for the first 30 pages and you think ‘now the agent is going to get a real sense of your writing- the story, and where it’s going. You hope and pray it’ll be enough.
You get rejected.
And it stings. A lot. But after three or four of these, you learn to stop feeling hopeful when you get a partial request.
But what happens when after the first 30 pages, they want even MORE!!? How about a FULL request?? Now you’re hopping up and down- you know the story gets really rolling, the agent must be attached to the characters by now and the ending rocks!
You get a rejection.
And not a ‘this and this is what turned me off’ type of rejection. Oh no - not even a bone thrown, just a basic form rejection with a little detail here and there to prove they actually read (some) of your stuff.
That, my friends, is the worst rejection. Because it makes you question everything. If an agent read the stuff you were so sure would hook them and they still didn’t want it, where does that leave you? You can’t move forward because you don’t know what it is that made them reject you. By now, you’ve had the thing critiqued and beta read into oblivion and no one can seem to tell you what’s wrong with it.
For me, after a couple rejections like that, I just stopped believing.
That’s right. I can honestly say at this point, I don’t believe I’ll ever be traditionally published. It’s like believing in Santa Claus. It’s a nice idea, but old Saint Nick is not gonna show up under my tree.
That doesn't stop me from putting the tree up every year…because that’s just what you do.
I’m doing this…the blog, the queries, the writing- completely without faith. Or hope. What no one tells you is that rejection sucks it all out of you eventually until you wonder constantly ‘Why? Why do I even bother continuing?’
I still ask myself that question every day. Every time I send out a new query to an agent. Every time I sit down in front of my computer to write. I don’t know why I keep going anymore. I just do and try not to think about how much of a failure I am. And I guess that's all you can really do in the end. Just keep going.