April 10, 2013

rejeting rejection

After completing another round of edits on book No. 1, I decided to re-query some of the agents who previously turned me down, but said to contact them if I made edits. Instead of sending to all forty I contacted the first time around, I've sent about 12 this time.

So far, I've received five rejections, but you know what? I'm OK with that.

Sure, no one wants to be told a person doesn't believe your book is the right project for them. No one wants to hear that someone isn't willing to take a chance on you. No one likes rejection.

But I'm not throwing myself a pity party every time I receive that email. I did in summer 2011, which meant I was unhappy often. Being unhappy doesn't suit me. It prevents me from being productive at work or when I open up my WIP file. It does not pay to bum myself out every time someone says no.

This time, I understand the publishing world a little bit better. There are thousands of aspiring authors who believe their book is the next best-seller, or at least worthy of a spot on a bookshelf. For an agent to want to represent your book, he or she must believe your story will turn a good profit and be willing to fight for it. They can't say yes to everyone.

I think what has made this time most different is the fact that I have more realistic expectations. I also know that if I can't find an agent or a publisher, I can still share my stories with others. Maybe it won't be in a grandiose way, but that doesn't mean it can't still be special.

What matters most is that I believe in my dream of being a novelist, and I continue to work toward it. Having confidence and a can-do attitude matters whether you're trying to get published, buy a new house, find a new job or achieve any other goal.

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