Friday, August 12, 2011

The First Cut is the Deepest

Here's what I did after I got my first rejection at 8:42AM 
1) Said, "Huh."
2) Made pancakes.
3) Sighed heavily. (repeat)
4) Drank two cups of coffee with milk and sugar forgetting that I don't take milk and sugar.
5) Talked to my husband about cutting the lawn without telling him about the rejection.
6) Watched My Little Pony movie with kids while sighing.
7) Waited until my husband left for work to email him about the rejection.
8) Didn't want to answer the phone when he called a nano-second later.
9) Talked to my mother in law about ice cream and not about rejection.
10) Talked to my neighbor about Radiohead and not about rejection.

In a nutshell, I am trying to micro-manage rejection. As if it's something that I can lessen the blow of, if handled the right way. I'm processing it, going through the Kubler-Ross stages. But I ain't liking it.

It's not like I thought it wouldn't happen, I knew it would. I was weirdly looking forward to it because it means I'm really doing it, really putting my work out there. But I still feel decimated.

I believe in my book. See? I just said that because, right this second, I don't believe in my book. Right this second I believe that if even one person rejects it, it must be terrible. That's the crazy bull s**t I believe right now.

I want to believe in my book. I want to find the damn horse and get back on it. But for today (I swear, just today) I'm going to wallow.

Anyone know good wallowing tunes?

Below is the form rejection I got.

Thank you for being so patient while I reviewed BOOKEND for possible representation. 
Unfortunately I don't feel it is quite right for my list. 

Please don't take this rejection as a comment on your writing ability, because it isn't
intended to be one. Because of my intimate list of clients, I must regrettably decline
to take on projects other than those I feel I can represent with a certainty of success.
I wish you every success with this and all your literary endeavors. As a result of the
volume of queries and submissions I receive, I'm unable to provide a personal 
evaluation and/or further explanation of my decision.


  1. I think my heart broke a little when I saw the title of your post. I know that feeling of "If I don't tell anyone, then maybe it isn't happening." You know the minute you talk to someone about it you'll be overwhelmed with sobs. Let it out. It's the only way you're going to be able to pick yourself back up and try again.

    I'm super proud that you're getting your work out there. It's a fact that landing the agent and book deal will take a while. The only thing that's going to get you through this is believing in your novel. And when that doesn't work, remember you have me and Greg standing behind you believing in your novel.

    You'll get through this set back. Oh, and Radiohead is excellent for wallowing.

  2. I'm bummed along with you - the rejection isn't an easy thing to take even if you know it's coming. Make sure you don't ignore it. Live through it, and when you pull out again, you'll remember your story is awesome, and you do deserve to be out there ^_^

  3. Please don't give up. I believe in you and your writing. We shall persevere together. I have been rejected so much it makes my head spin and I hope that you only receive this one rejection and it is smooth sailing from this day forward.

  4. Rejection sucks. It really does, but it's part of the process. I'm expecting a rejection from the same Suite of offices this afternoon. Even though I'm 99% sure it's coming and I'm ready for it, I still don't want to see it.

    Also, I read a good article on Yahoo this week about the author of The Help and how she was rejected sixty times before she found her agent, with some of the rejections being quite nasty. Her book went on to be a mega-success with a movie coming out this week. She believed in her story and didn't give up. I know it's cliche, but it really does take just one yes.

    Eat chocolate. It helps.

  5. @michael
    @Loralie- thanks for the support! I appreciate the love and good vibes. You made my day better.

    @LG, I'm crossing every finger and toe I have for that 1%

  6. I read an article today about author of THE HELP, Kathryn Stockett and how many times she was rejected.

    Give it a quick read maybe it will cheer you up. And if it helps at all I thought your book sounds amazing :)

  7. @angie - thanks for the link and the encouragement (it does help, it really does, thank you.)

  8. Rejection sucks. After my first rejection, I spent three days feeling sort of stunned. I didn't want to tell anyone, I was so ashamed. How dare someone think I am not worthy of consideration. And then it happens again and again and again, and you suddenly don't care as much, especially when someone does request your manuscript.

    Alright, just when you think you're okay with having your query rejected, then comes the part where people ask to look at your manuscript and reject it. That hurts more. How could they possibly reject you after reading your words! Sometimes they even give feedback with such insights as "not right for my list" or "don't know a good editor for this."
    And you wonder if you suck.
    And you wonder if you're not commercial enough.
    And you wonder if you've been lied to all your life about your talents.
    And you wonder if you made a mistake.
    And you wonder if you change a few things.
    And you wonder if maybe it was just some intern who broke up with her boyfriend last night and was taking it out on you.
    And you wonder if they made a mistake.
    And maybe you cry or yell at your plants or you clean your kitchen extra well or try sky diving or do some yoga or whatever...

    Oddly enough, it really does get easier. In fact, I think the only cure for the pain of rejection is to get rejected a lot. Each one is a small innoculation for your ego. Eventually, you will just happily delete the impersonal letter knowing that the agent is missing out (not the other way around) and put out three new queries instead.

    You have to believe that as long as you are willing to keep trying, there are only two possible outcomes: you will have queried every agent and have to start over again (perhaps with a better letter or a revised manuscript) OR you will be published.


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