Five months ago I sent out several query packages for my novel. I had every intention if sending out more, but the needs of an elderly furkid forced me to make some changes to my priorities. For the record, I’m not sorry I shelved my writing dreams for a few months as I would not trade the time I had with my dog for anything.
During those “off” months, absolutely nothing showed up in my inbox. Ugh. Rejection by silence. That’s the worst kind! I went into my spreadsheet and marked all open queries with “assumed rejection.” How depressing is that??
Just when I think the silence is going to kill me, I get an actual response from an actual agent. While it was rejection, it was a personal email rather than a form letter. She took the time to explain why she was turning me down and gave me encouragement to keep looking for an agent who would be the right fit for my work. Even though this is a rejection, her kindness reduced the sting a little.
As I look through all my rejection letters (there’s more than 30), I’m noticing the vast majority are personalized responses. I’ve decided to look upon this as a good thing. In addition, I only have five “assumed rejections” from lack of a response. That’s not too bad.
I remain optimistic, but I’m also not going to lie. It is discouraging to be at it this long with little or nothing to show for it. Sometimes it truly does feel like this publication thing just isn’t going to happen for me. This is an industry where the competition is fierce and there are literally thousands of incredibly talented people vying for a small number of contracts.
So what’s next? Another round of query packages, most likely. I still have a number of prospective agents on my list and I’m motivated to add more agents to my list. Part of my motivation comes from knowing well-established writers have all experienced the repeated sting of rejections. It’s part of the process and I just have to endure. When I see writers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling received rejections by the hundreds, my thirty rejections are just a drop in the bucket. This is not over and I’m not giving up.
Thank you, J.K. Rowling for inspiring all of us to keep going!
The right agent is out there somewhere and I’m going to find her. 🙂
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16 thoughts on “The Rejections Keep Coming”
Had my first taste of rejection recently as well. Really sucks, but what can a writer do but to keep writing. Never give up!
That’s right! We never give up! Sorry to hear of recent brush with rejection – hang in there! 🙂
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You don’t need an agent. Amazon Kindle works. If I don’t buy on Kindle and I feel the need to hold paper I go to Ebay. I also check out all books that are pushed thru facebook. The most precious times are with your pet. We have two that are gone from us and although we have other not a day goes by I think of them. I pray they are safe in rainbow heaven. Oh I forgot. I love your books
Self publishing is definitely an option I’m considering, but I’m going to give the traditional route a go as well. 🙂
I was very lucky to have so many years with my furkid – he was truly special and I miss him.
It’s not easy to hope and wait and hope and wait. One of the many reasons so many go to self-publishing nowadays which has its own hurdles and downside of course. Keep on keeping on, I say.
Onwards and upwards! 🙂
Personalized rejections are mini-wins in my book. You may not have come out fully victorious, but you are definitely sure you weren’t lost in the slush. I recently received a personalized rejection from a poetry journal and it made me darn near as happy as an acceptance letter would have. That outside insight into my work was invaluable, even if what I sent wasn’t a fit for them at the time.
Don’t give up. I know that’s so easier said than done, but stay the course. Time will reveal the plan for your novel, whether it’s traditional publishing through an agent or something else entirely. Or at least time will reveal the plan if you keep working at it as you are. Keep growing from all of the personal comments you get. If agents are taking the time to respond personally, you’ve got something good going that they notice.
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I view personalized rejections as mini-wins, too. Heck, any response is a bit of a win! 🙂 Thank you for the words of encouragement – may we both find that one YES we are looking for!
So sorry to hear of this. I can only imagine how dispiriting it must get even though the big hitters have also been through it. I think it’s very positive that some agents have responded with personal letters so a case of just pressing on, I guess. Good luck and stay strong!!
It does get a bit demoralizing, but hearing about other writers going through the same thing helps ease the pain! 🙂 It’s weird but J.K. Rowling’s tweet came right when I needed it. Yes, rejection is tough, but the personal touch and kindness of some agents reminds me there really some good people out there.
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99% of all writers never get published. I know that’s no actual comfort. It took me from 2004 to 2010 to get my first novel published. It’s no best seller, but it still feels like quite an achievement.
It’s a huge achievement!! 🙂
Glad you are keeping your chin up and the letters going out. New agents pop up all the time. You just haven’t found yours yet. Hugs.
Thanks for the hugs. All I can do is keep trying, so that’s what I’m going to do. 🙂
I would say all of those personal responses instead of form letters are definitely an encouraging sign. Keep pressing on. If something is worth having, then it’s worth persevering to get it. (At least, that’s my motto, and my life has been filled with a lot of waiting.) And I’m sorry to hear about your furkid. I’m glad you spent that extra time with him. ❤
The stubborn streak in my personality is definitely going to pay off in this process! 😀
Thanks for the condolences. I haven’t spoken much about my furkid since he passed. It’s been a few weeks and I’m still struggling with the empty space he left behind. The one saving grace I have is four other furkids that need their mom. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
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