Last night I was at dinner with the Future Mrs and the family when I received an e-mail on my smart phone from an agent. The initial burst of excitement was immediately replaced with “well crud” after discovering it was a form rejection. What’s interesting is that I had forgotten about the query since it was sent a long time ago. Long before I handed my MS to betas. Quality-wise, the pages I’d sent were telling and not showing which, as one AW friend said, waves the “Rookie Card.” Heck, after re-reading the pages, I would have rejected them.
I’m sure we’ve all been there.
That being said, it’s important not to get too down on yourself. Writing, like a lot of things, takes time, patience, and a thick skin. It’s hard to create a plot and develop characters. It’s even harder to get those concepts down on paper in a logical, orderly fashion. Then, once it’s all together, you have to tighten it, make it interesting, and create pages that pop.
But even after the story is polished to a shine, the real journey begins. Rejection after rejection may pour in (depending on the agent’s policy for query notifications) and the ego can take quite a beating. “How can anyone not love this thing?” you wonder.
The reality is that all it takes is one agent: the right one.
When I first mentioned my intent to write something worthy of querying to agents, an author friend of mine gave me the following advice: “You don’t want just any-old-agent. You want someone who you’re excited about. More important, you want someone who is excited about you.”
It’s funny, but there are a lot of parallels between writing and dating. There are literally millions of people out there that you could be content with, but only a few that have that special spark. They are the ones that you’re not only excited about, but are also excited about you. And many times, the path that ultimately leads you to them isn’t easy, but worth it in the end.
Rejections sting, no matter how thick your skin, but everyone gets them. Agents may pass on your story and sometimes you may need to rework and re-polish it. But finding that one agent who loves it will make the entire trip worth while.