So, I’m a bit late in my posting this week. Usually I have SOMETHING to show for my week between posts, but the truth is that I just went through the most exciting whirlwind so far in my writing career. I submitted a query to a literary agent, who then requested to read my full manuscript!….and I promptly received a rejection letter stating: “Thank you for letting us review your material for Jessaray, which we read with great interest. Unfortunately, we have determined that we are not the appropriate agents to represent this material. In this very competitive market, we are simply not enthusiastic enough about our ability to sell this work to offer representation. We wish you the best of luck placing this successfully. Thank you, once again, for letting us consider it.”
And what did I do in response to this email? Did I pour the whiskey and listen to country music? Did I read Camus and ask myself how such hollow depression got published while mine is gathering internet dust in its folder? (Sorry, Camus fans!) What I was this: I picked up my pencil and got to work! Jessaray is the first book in a series I am writing, a series I had been neglecting for almost two weeks. Who knew the word NO could be exactly the kind of springboard I needed to realize that I had to get back to being serious about my choice in career and passion? I mean, think about it. An agent actually wanted to read my whole manuscript! Not just the query, not just the first ten pages, the ENTIRE BOOK! That’s the first step to success! I am now nearly 80 pages into the second book of the series, and also searching for new agents to submit Jessaray to.
One of the most quoted phrases to new writers is, without a doubt, the untiring, “You will receive hundreds of rejections before the right agent reads your work.” That can be a little discouraging. No, not discouraging, it can make you feel like chucking your notebook into Mount Doom and hoping the fires will release the power of the pen that haunts you. I’ve accepted the truth. Maybe there isn’t a right agent, will never be a right agent…but maybe it’s just for that book! So pick up your pencil, brew another coffee, and keep writing. Write a poem, a song, another book! Write something. Eventually, there will be something of worth in that pile.