You know how I just wrote here yesterday about how I hadn't gotten a response to my first query yet? It turns out that I almost spoke too soon. This afternoon during my lunch break at work, I checked my email to see a response from the first agent I've ever sent a query to ever.
You call this a novel? Do the world a favor and just stop now. Please.
Okay, so that didn't really happen, but I did get a rejection. It was just a standard form letter. "Dear Author, thanks but no thanks" kind of a feel to it. Very straightforward and polite enough. So I printed it out, it's now taped up on my wall, and then I went on to teach a class of juniors how to do geneaology research.
Seriously. That was it. I just moved on with the rest of my day, and now I'm at home figuring out my weekend plans.
You see, rejection and I go a long way back. It's like how The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is narrated by Death itself - the protagonist may not always be aware of it or like to think about it, but she and Death actually have quite a long and complicated history. And I know rejection very, very well.
Option number one is to take it personally, to cry and be hurt and get the jar of Nutella out of my desk and eat it out with a spoon while I let the self doubts take over because this thing which I care so much about isn't enough in the eyes of this one person. This is the option I would go to a lot when I liked a guy who didn't like me back when I was in high school and college. It's what I did when I auditioned for drum major of the marching band for my senior year of high school and out of four people going for three spots, I was the one who got cut.
Or there's option number two, which is to let it roll off my back and keep moving forward. To say that yes I tried and while it sucks that it didn't work out this time, who says it never will in the future? I just have to keep on trying, keep on writing, and keep on believing that good things come to those who wait. This is the option I go to when things at work make me feel completely defeated. It's my attitude when I go on a fantastic first date, but then never hear back from the guy for a second one.
Rejection isn't pleasant, but it doesn't have to be the end of the world either, and so I'm using this as a learning experience. When you get to the querying stage, you have to remember that you're making a transition from this being a hobby to this thing we do being a business. So I can't take it personally. I'm bummed, of course, but who knows what the future holds for me, right?
Thank you, though, so much to the people who have been continually supportive of me and my writing throughout this journey. To my family and my friends old and new, I couldn't do any of this without you. =)
Now I'm going to listen to this song, then get back to my new manuscript. Sounds like a solid plan, don't you think?