Sunday, March 18, 2012


Using my new phone app while on my way to a concerto competition! I'm extremely nervous right now, so I'm blogging to distract myself.

I think the last time I felt this nervous was the day after I sent out my first few queries, when I opened my inbox...and found my first rejection. My already fragile and hormonally-enraged self-esteem was torn to shreds. Sure, all of the websites I had visited and books I read had said that rejection is all part of the process, but don't we always expect ourselves to be the exception?

But I made myself move on, telling myself that I'd get a request for a partial tomorrow. Little did I know that there were almost fifty more rejections queued up in my future...

Some of them were nice. Some of them were not. Some of them were form rejections letters and some came in the form of cold silence. And then, about twenty rejections in, my first request for a partial! I didn't see it until about a week after it was actually sent, because I had been on a strictly no-phone mission trip (fine, I'll admit i cheated a few times, but this is before the smart phone era, so I didn't have Internet anyway). I was frantically ecstatic, and went to bed dreaming of book deals and advances and trying to decide which publishing house I would want to sign with. My good mood lasted for about a week...and then the rejection came. I was heartbroken.

I guess my point here is that you can't expect everyone to love your writing (something I'm still trying to grasp). Even J.K. Rowling was rejected close to forty times before Harry Potter found a home. You shouldn't take it personally, and you most definitely shouldn't send the agent you queried an angry email insulting her tastes in writing (which I almost did when my number of rejections hit the thirties). I once read a quote that said that every book that deserved to be published eventually would be. I repeated that line to myself at least ten times a day while querying. And I'm sure that I'll be repeating it even more often as soon as my agent begins shopping my manuscripts to publishers.

Just remember that your book's most important fan is yourself (there I go talking to myself again...). Don't let a few rejections dampen your enthusiasm for it. After all, if you don't believe in your work, then who will?