Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dream Agent RE: YOUR MANUSCRIPT

*Gasps*  Oh no.  It’s only been a few days since I resubmitted. This can’t be good. *clicks on email*

Dear Katie,

Thank you for allowing me to read your revised manuscript.

Okay. Harmless enough so far…

Unfortunately…

Oh.

Shit. 

The ‘unfortunately’. - The link that severs the good from the bad.  The equivalent of an executioner’s axe in the writing world.  Shit shit shit shit shit shit…(this word seemed to repeat without cease in my mind for the remainder of the interlude)

I’m afraid the changes just weren’t enough to…

Oh SHIIIIIT! *clutches chest*.  Oh God. I’ve been hit. OUCH!  Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch!!!  This HURTS! *Takes deep breaths and moves on.*

I’m very sorry but at this point I can’t offer any more…

OH Noooooooo! *clutches stomach * I think I’m going to puke.

I wish you all the best in your writing endeavors…

*Mouth hangs open in grief, hands reaching towards the sky*  WHYYYYYYYYYY!!!?

*Buries face in hands and struggles to breath for a minute. Looks up between her fingers*

Oh God, it’s still there.

*closes email*

What do I do now?  Should I write back?  Maybe I should write back…*Looks at her hands and wonders why they don’t answer. Starts typing.*

Dear Agent,

I’d like to thank you for the time you took on my manuscript. I wish I could say more but I’m currently dying a slow, painful, bloody, emotional death…

…Watching my ripped-out heart beat outside my body

…And planning a video for youtube

…WHYYYY DO YOU HATE ME????

Okay.  Maybe I shouldn’t write back. 

This is far too emotionally raw. I’ll just go have a drink, chill out, and watch some mindless television for a bit.

*FIVE drinks later*

Dear Agnet,

I thanks you for all your time and fantasmic feedback.  You da bom.  I juss wanna say I try SO HARD!  So. hard… You broke my heart, man. But in the words of the great, late, Whitney- I will always love you…………..SdvUIHILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILN

*passes out, face down on the keyboard*

***side note: Yes, I did.  No, I didn’t.  And this is in NO way the real letter that I received (which was much more personal and kind) but you get the gist***

So, I’m going to continue to submit my manuscript elsewhere and I have other projects in the works which I’m focusing on. Despite the roller coaster of emotions, working with an agent was a fantastic experience.  Bottom line is, I’m still here.  A little more battered and blue in the self-esteem department but I’m still here. Sushi and wine are helping sooth the pain but I’m still not completely ‘over it’, of course.

What do you guys do to get over a really tough rejection?

70 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's SO hard. So sorry you went through it. I don't think there's any easy answer to getting through it. Usually time makes it seem more important. And if you keep querying, have faith you'll find the agent for you. And take hope in the fact that you got this far with the agent you queried.

Jessica Bell said...

Oh gosh :( I'm so sorry! But look, you got a really entertaining blog post out of it! lol Ack ...

Marie Rose Dufour said...

It's extremely hard considering the investment we put into all of our writing. You just have to pick yourself up, brush off the footprint from your butt, and start again. Put the manuscript aside for a while and work on something else then go back to it with fresh eyes. I remember and editor telling me after resubmitting that my story was still "lacking". It happens! Good luck!

nick said...

Very funny... and sad. Onwards and upwards.

Laura Pauling said...

Sorry Katie! It's never easy. I usually take a day off to read good books and watch good movies but it usually takes a couple weeks to truly forget about it. Esp. on a R/R!

Wendy L. Callahan said...

Awww. :(

This just happened to me last week. A lovely, lovely agent had my full, and turned it down.

I simply closed my email and walked away, told my husband to stop attempting to comfort me, and found something else to do.

When I came back, I was feeling better. I composed a "thank you" to the agent, since she did request the full and take the time to read it. Goodness knows I wasn't angry or anything - just bummed out.

Then I looked at my agent list and continued onward. :) I also initiated my "Plan B" for the manuscript (when I began querying, it was with a Plan A, B and C in mind).

I think it's good to plan in such a way, so when rejection comes along, you have a contingency plan (or two) already in mind.

April Plummer said...

Aw, I'm so sorry sweetie. I don't know how you feel, really. Having decided to not go the traditional route. But, I've of course faced all other kinds of rejection, and it's never easy. I'm so sorry for your broken heart, but I know, I KNOW, that your dream will come true. You have a gift, and it will be realized. Each no is one more no closer to yes. I know that's not easy to remember, but it's the truth.

Em-Musing said...

Cute post. Me? A few tears first, then confusion. Is it my writing? Wrong match with an agent? Now what? Then I go boo-hooing to my writing friends who put it all in perspective again.

Old Kitty said...

Oh sweet and adorable Katie! Well you are sweet and adorable!

I've found there are no magic cures to deaden the pain of rejection. A good cry, lots of chocolate, wallowing, wanting to give it all up... another good cry.. then anger, outrage, raspberries all round.. another good cry.. then lots of sighing, hugging of cat, more chocolate, annoying the cat, listening to Abba...then buying a new pair of shoes and feeling the world is ok again! :-)

But seriously! BIG BIG BIG HUGS!

Take care
x

Annalisa Crawford said...

It's horrible at the time, but in a couple of days you'll pick yourself up and move on. I never start querying without a list, so as soon as I get a rejection I move to the next one. If they can reject 'by return of post', then I can resubmit the same way.

I honestly think things happen for a reason - this agent said no thanks (and there are so many arbitrary reasons why that might have happened), but that just means a better one is somewhere on the horizon.

Kyra Lennon said...

Ohh, that hurts. :(

I can't offer you any amazing advice on how to deal with rejection, because I haven't yet put anything out to be rejected, so I'm just gonna say, don't give up, and good luck!

RachelMaryBean said...

Ugh, I'm sorry. But just the fact that you had dream agent working with in the first place, reading the full, asking for revisions, etc. You know you're getting closer!

Connie Keller said...

I'm so, so sorry! You're a long ways away, but please consider yourself hugged.

I got an R after two R&Rs to the same agent, so I know how much it hurts. Here's what I do. Have a really good cry. When the tears are spent, send out some more queries--remember your novel is now in better shape than it's ever been.

Vivi said...

Oh, my dear bloggy friend...I'm going through a similar situation and it sucketh the moose! You just have to press on and believe it's all for the best, all meant to be, yadda, yadda. I usually cope by huddling in a corner crying and chain-swallowing Oreos, but with my free hand, I make sure to send out a few more queries. :)

Gina said...

Kaaaaaatieeeeee NOOOOOO!!!!

My stomach just fell out onto my floor for you. I know how hard you worked on those revisions and I'm beyond bummed that this was your answer after all that.

But your attitude rocks. Keep going, girl.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Oh dear..feel bad for you, let me hold your hand coz I am in the same boat, I got few awesome rejection letters (can rejection letters be awesome?). Our (your and mine) dream agent will appear soon :)

B.E. Sanderson said...

:hugs: I'm so sorry to hear about the rejection. Even the best, nicest, kindest rejection can sting when your hopes are up. (Been there, got the t-shirt that says 'I suck'.)

What I did was crawl in a proverbial hole for several months. I doubted everything I knew and everything I was doing as a writer (and a little doubt about who I was as a person). Don't let this setback send you into a spiral like that, Katie. Those holes are really hard to climb out of.

Meredith said...

Wine and chocolate and mindless TV usually helps. Anything that keeps your mind off of it, really. And then just keep going. You can do it!

Eve.E said...

oh no sweetie sorry to hear that, I know I shouldn't find it funny, but I couldn't help but laugh, your blog post it very amusing, just the way you have written it, It felt just like i was there with you. But you keep it up don't let something like this put you off. Keep on honey!! xx

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Love the way you laid out all those emotions we've all felt (and if you haven't felt this because you were immediately snapped up, we hate you...just kidding). Yes, I think these things but haven't been able to put them into words. The more I see, the more I'm sure that this is an incredibly hard time to break into writing...but it can be done, and I know you will. But persistence can be exhausting, n'est ce pas?

Tracy Jo said...

Sucks!! So Sorry. So hard. Something better will come along and it is all about perseverance. I am not at the point that you are in my writing but when I do have set backs...you know the song from Santa Claus is coming to town? Put one foot in front of the other...lalala. That is what I sing in my head to keep going. :-) I am sending you positive vibes & hugs!

Grumpy Bulldog, Media Mogul said...

Yeah it sucks when they jerk you around like that. Like they couldn't actually go through and tell you what to change if they really cared. Why do they play games like that? It's annoying.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm so sorry, Katie! It's never easy, but a revise and re-submit rejection must be just about the worst kind.

Personally, I do the same - get drunk, cry into my drink, and I try to refrain from writing to anyone.

Linda Kage said...

I'm feeling major Déjà vu here. I think I've seen this letter in my inbox about a million times. And I've had those exact response feelings a million times too. Man, I thought I was the only one always wondering if I should write a thank you letter, then slip in a discrete "you ripped out my heart, man" somewhere.

I'm so sorry for you loss. I totally sympathize and empathize and all that. But just think how much rewarding it will feel when you get that, "congratulations, I'm happy to say..." letter?!

Becky Mahoney said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry, Katie! D: Lots of hugs your way. Here's hoping you get some awesome news soon.

Nicole L Rivera said...

A whole box of Oreo's Double Stuff will do it. ;) Keep on going, Katie. You'll find that dream agent. You have too much talent not to be published! Thanks for sharing your journey through the query pile with us. It is really inspirational. Maybe you could write a book on being the Creepy Query Girl? Just a thought. I'd buy it, and recommended the heck out of it.

Cherie Reich said...

Aww! *hugs* It can't be easy to get those types of rejections. But you're doing the right thing by continuing to query.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Aw, I'm sorry! *hugs* A bubble bath and some chocolate always helps to make me feel better. Then I send out another query or two. I'm sadistic like that.

Dawn Ius said...

Oh honey, I'm sorry to hear that. Rejection is NEVER easy, but take heart in the fact that you got so much further than most get. Your writing isn't bad. Your book isn't bad. It's just not right for THIS agent. Enjoy some chocolate, a nice glass of wine, and then get back at it. Even though this agent didn't pick up on it, you revised the MS...and it's ready to go out into the world again. Good luck. xoxo

Marisa Hopkins said...

I feel mean for laughing at the hilarity that is your post, when I I should just say awwwww {hugs}. But I love your attitude! and I SO know how you feel!! Good luck!

prerna pickett said...

The amount of suckage you must feel right now has to be hard. Keep going, don't give up. There's an agent out there waiting for your story!

Amber said...

Ugh, I have been there. At this point I just scan for that "Unfortunately". Really sucks, but you gotta keep going. It's kind of woo-woo but then they weren't the right agent for you all along :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

So sorry. I don't miss the heartache and angst of those days. I always turned around quickly and got the manuscript out there again.

Just wanted you to know, those bookmarks I mailed you months ago came back to me yesterday. :(

LTM said...

oh, god. UGH!

UGH!!! UGH UGH UGH!!! I'm so sorry. ((big, long virtual hug)) oh, man. I'm just like wanting to cry with you right now, too. That kills so bad.

I usually need like 2-3 days to recover from bad publishing news. It's OK to cry. It's OK to even stomp around the house and insist it isn't worth it, you'll never do this again, etc. It's also acceptable to scream "You're WRONG!!!" at the computer screen.

I think you know this: Do not write back yet. Get some perspective, hop over to Query Tracker and make a NEW list of agents representing your MS. Be strong in the knowledge that your MS is even better, shinier, more polished than before, and then just keep swimming~

((BIG hug)) :o| <3

E. Arroyo said...

This brought flashbacks. It sucks. There's nothing to do but keep writing.

JEM said...

I feel you, and I'll echo the comments above. We've all been there. Me? I drank a lot of wine and threw myself a few pity parties, and then I kept writing. On something new, something I hadn't put enough time into to realize how much I would screw it up yet. And you know? I actually remembered why I was doing this whole querying thing in the first place: because I love storytelling. So I guess that was my lesson. I could survive querying, and my heart would go on. Wrong diva, but you get me.

mshatch said...

Katie, that completely sucks and I'm so sorry. I can only imagine your high hopes. But I'm glad you could post about it - and humorously, too! I think that's more than I would've been able to do.

But whatever you do, do NOT stop writing.

Voidwalker said...

Sushi and Wine sounds like a great recovery strategy for rejection.

I love your humor. Keep up the submissions and don't forget that it is VERY common to get a bunch of rejections before landing a deal. Even best sellers have that going on.

Patti said...

I'm really beginning to hate that word "unfortunately". Hope you find that dream agent soon.

Kristin Lenz said...

I hear you, I've been there too. I usually allow myself to be in a foul mood for a day, then it's time to soldier on. I love how you handled this with humor!

Jay Noel said...

I go hit tennis balls. Sounds dumb, but it helps.

Keep going, Katie. We're all rooting for you.

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm sory Katie. R&R rejects suck. The worst of all. Been there.

Just do what you're doing. Drink, eat, watch tv, hang with the kids. Take some time off from writing. And when you feel ready, go back to it, or not. YOU are the boss of your own publishing destiny these days. Self-publishing isn't the evil spawn it used to be.

DL Hammons said...

I'm going against the grain here, and by that I mean no sympathy from me. You know why? Because that wasn't your agent! Even though she teased you by making you think she understood the material...and you...ultimately she didn't. If she was your agent and got hit by a bus, then a HUG would be in order...but she wasn't. You're right to move on and keep on submitting, because that's the only way your real agent can find you. Do not shed tears over this. It's simply a bump in a very rocky road! :)

Kelly Polark said...

Rejection is hard. But you have to believe that you are still good enough. Be pissed/upset for a day and move on. :)

Kelly Polark said...

And a hug to you! We've all been there!

ValerieFM said...

Hang in there Katie! :(

Kristen Wixted said...

Been there a few times. Even had a contract once, that got nixed.
Totally stinks but it's part of the deal.
Be strong :).
hang in there.

Charlie Holmberg said...

Ouch, that sucks! Especially after revisions! Hang in there.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was hilarious! I definitely like the second reply better.

Janet Johnson said...

Oh man! Totally stinks. I just got one of those in fact. :( Yeah. Totally stinks.

Trisha said...

Ouchie :( But you handled it really well, all things considered. Kind of glad you didn't send that response. haha

Treelight said...

I've never offered anyone a finished manuscript, since I haven't finished any ... but I can so very much relate to how you reacted to that rejection.
One day it will work! Keep trying!

Kittie Howard said...

What a sinking feeling. I'm sorry. But it didn't kill you, so you stronger...back you go, to the salt mines! Yes, you can do this! (Don't give up, girl!)

Donna Hosie said...

Been there, done that, worn the t-shirt, cried into the t-shirt, took a pair of scissors to the t-shirt...

Wrote another book!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I was crushed for you, too. I know how much work went into that book, and I really don't understand why she didn't take it. Maybe she was too close to the original to fully shed her original feelings. The next agent who sees it will only see the new, shiny version. It will be fresh and new and funny and a winner.

Tonja said...

If it helps at all, your post was brilliant, sincerely.

Jen Daiker said...

Normally I drink a whole bottle of wine myself, however, I think your approach was best. Write a ton of agent letters, burn them, and then email an appropriate one back.

Why do creative people have to have a 90% rejection rate?

Misha Gericke said...

So sorry to hear that you didn't get the agent. All I can say is keep going. *fingers crossed*

A Beer for the Shower said...

See, I'm not sure which is worse, an outright rejection, or the backhanded compliment rejection. We always seem to get this:

"I absolutely loved this manuscript. This was funny, and well written, and so clever, but"

--But? Are you kidding me?--

"but it's so unique that it might be a hard sell, and so I'm afraid I'll have to pass."

In other words, it's not a fad of the minute vampire novel, so I'm not going to waste my valuable time trying to sell something innovative because I might fail.

The best advice is just to remember that it's not necessarily a bad novel, it just doesn't fit the taste of the agent. Hell, I once showed my first novel to an agent who said she was "disgusted, appalled, and turned off" by it. And then I showed it to the my former agent, and he said it was brilliant, the best thing he'd read in a long time, and brought him to tears. Tastes vary so much between agents. Just hold out for the agent that's right for you.

Lauren W. said...

I laughed out loud at every sentence! You are SO funny! Your blog brings such a smile to my face that I had to nominate you for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Here's the link: http://laurenwaters.net/2012/02/16/sunshine-award/

Dean Crawford said...

So sorry to read your post Katie, although judging by the way you wrote it you can't be far away from representation as it was brilliantly funny!

This happens to us all ( me included ) and seems to be a rite of passage for most published authors. I spent six months waaaay back in 2006 "working" with an agent who then said "no thanks". It's gutting, but you learn a lot from it, and everything you learn gets put into the next project.

Every step is a step closer. Stick with it :o)

Marsha Sigman said...

Just think how close you are! It's only a matter of time so don't get discouraged.

Also it might help to imagine this agent must have been in some sort of hostage situation where she was forced to write that email.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I'm sorry about the rejection, but I liked your funny description of it. I try to get my mind off of rejection by doing something that I like and that makes me happy, like work out at the gym, read a good book by one of my favorite authors, or go to a coffeehouse. It's good that you're continuing to submit your manuscript, though; a lot of people don't have the patience to keep trying, but it's important to persevere.

Paul Tobin said...

I am so sorry. What i do is start again, put the manuscript to one side and write something else.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Drinking, yes, I would say that's the best choice. Unless you have narcotics. Or any kind of substance that gets rid of your brain temporarily. Maybe a lobotomy. I dunno. Let me know because that kind of rejection just plain sucks and the only real cure is time.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Drinking, yes, I would say that's the best choice. Unless you have narcotics. Or any kind of substance that gets rid of your brain temporarily. Maybe a lobotomy. I dunno. Let me know because that kind of rejection just plain sucks and the only real cure is time.

Michael G-G said...

You've got talent in spades, judging by this blog post. Very funny!

I did my share of wallowing last year, coming close several times, only to fall at the final hurdle. After the last rejection, I told my wife that I thought I had a failed novel on my hands. She, bless her, told me I just hadn't found the right match yet. Two days after my "failed novel boo-hoo" rejection, I got two offers of representation.

The universe works in mysterious ways. Keep writing, don't give up, and continue to believe there is someone out there you gets you and loves your novel. (And it never hurts to buy the universe a drink, either.)

Ellie Garratt said...

Wine. Chocolate. More wine. More chocolate. Repeat until feel better or pass out.

Sophia Chang said...

oh I just cry. Yup, crying solves everything.


You're hilarious so I want to feature you on my blog for my new A Day in the Life series. Are you game? Come by and check out the inaugural profile and see if it's something you'd be into!

karcherry said...

If you can make rejection sound fun and funny, you can do anything. It's just a matter of time.

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