I’ve been fully prepared for the rejection process since I started submitting my novel back in May. I’ve had a few “form” rejections and a few positive rejections; the best of which came from Curtis Brown and Skylark (nice e-mails from these agents too).
So, I have now joined the echelons of writers who have put themselves in the laps of the literary gods, bared my heart and soul to people who hold my future in their hands.
Ok, that might seem a little melodramtic but anyone who knows me, knows that I have a penchant for theatrics!
So far, I’ve clocked up thirteen actual rejections. Next, I have to look at those who simply haven’t responded at all; but, my list is dwindling. I have twenty-four agents yet to respond and whilst I am fully educated in the nature of rejection (ALL writers, published or not have gone through this experience) I am starting to feel ever so slightly despondent.
Being rejected definitely raises questions.
- What wasn’t “quite right” about my story?
- Why weren’t they “passionate” or “enthusiastic” enough to take it further?
- Am I a terrible writer?
- Is it a terrible story?
- What’s so wrong with it?
Honestly, I think I could drive myself made with these questions whirling around my head.
I read so many books and sometimes I think, “mine is definitely as good as this”, but what is it about THAT book that made the cut? What made it stand out enough to attract the attention of a literary agent?
I’ve researched that a poor cover letter can be enough to earn a firm “No” but the fact that I am getting responses suggests to me that I must be doing something right. One agent’s response was “Your submission caught my eye so I read it straight away. I enjoyed HORIZON SKIES. It was an intriguing concept. However, I’m afraid I didn’t quite love this enough to take it further.” It was definitely encouraging but obviously not what I wanted to hear.
So, what next? Do I revisit my manuscript, get some new betas, hire an editor? Or, consign my creation to the bottom of the pile and hope that my current WIP makes the grade?
One thing I am definitely sure of in all this; I am NOT giving up on my ambition. I AM a writer, you just won’t see me on the shelves of Waterstones…yet.