Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rejection letters, heartbreak, and moving on

Out of the seven response I've received so far from agents, seven of them have been rejection letters.  A lot of my friends --and my family, boyfriend, etc.--can't truly understand what a rejection letter is.  It isn't simply a letter where an agent states they won't represent your book.  If it was that simple I would not be frustrated when I read responses.  A rejection letter... It's like a break up.  It's that moment when the guy decides to break up with you, but you're still entirely in love with him.  He keeps it short and to the point, and there you are staring at him with your jaw hanging open and your eyes watery as ever.  That is what a rejection letter is.  You've been dumped within much explanation, and no matter how badly you want to fix it there is nothing you can do.
I remember my first rejection letter.  I had completed The Magic of Light at the time, and back then I was too young to realize that my 50 page "book" simply was not close to being published material.  Even so, I sent it to agents and publishers, and then those horrid letters came.  Yeah, you know...  
"Dear (your name),
We're sorry to say, but after reviewing your letter we have determined we cannot represent your manuscript at this time.  We wish you the best..."

And so forth.  The first time I read a letter similar to that I thought I was going to cry.  I'm not even sure if I read the entire thing.  It was like they had taken a knife into my back and were slowly pulling it out.  How could they reject my book?  My book?  My baby?  It blew my mind.

Fast forward five years, and look at where I am.  I'm still talking about those nasty rejection letters, I'm writing, and the editing is driving me crazy.  Sometimes people will ask me why I keep trying, especially after considering the multiple times I've heard that an agent isn't interested in my book.  What I've learned is that the people who ask you that question will never understand.  They can't understand that for you, this isn't about getting published.  This about living out your dream, writing because it is your passion, and finally giving birth to what you created.  
Every time I've read a rejection letter I have winced at every single word.  When someone else is next to me, reading along with me, I will try to hide the fact that inside I feel broken, empty, and scared.  The truth is, there are probably thousands of others who feel this same way.  Sure, I can cry over every time I have failed miserably in pursuing this dream, but at the same time there is no point.  Today I read three rejection letters.  It wasn't until I read through all three that I came to an email that finally said an agent wanted to read more of my work.  Think about every time you have been rejected.  Isn't it worth it when someone finally shows interest?  You have to think of a rejection as a bad date; he's not coming back to you.  You have to wait and be patient to find the one who's for you, and when he shows that he is interested you can slowly pull him in toward you.  There's a chance he'll find out he is not that interested, but then one day there is the guy who is not only curious but is certain he wants you.  He wants you?  There you go --you're accepted.
For every rejection, you have to find more music to download onto your iPod and a whole lot of free time to revise what you already edited 100 times the day before.  

Read the first book in the Magicians series...

Cursed with Power
Power, love, heartbreak...
Violence, screaming, blood...
His eyes rolled back into his head.  I had done this.
Read the book on inkpop: here

Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com


Julie Musil said...

Lindsey, this is so tough. One thing I love about blogging with other writers is that we all understand what the other writer is going through. Hopefully you can take a day or two to be sad, then dust yourself off and get back to it. I know of another blogger who got 188 no's before she finally got her yes. Keep going.

Anonymous said...

This was actually very encouraging and honest --trust me, you're not alone in these feelings of frustration.

Post a Comment

I love comments, so please take the time to leave one. Thank you!