If you’ll remember, I was waiting on an agent to get back to me after she requested a full manuscript some months ago. It was my fourth full request ever. She turned it down the other day, and I’ve been wondering how to feel about it. No one likes getting rejected, but I thought I’d grown used to it. After a few days, however, it’s wearing on me.
Many times, I’ve gotten past the query to the sample pages. Many times, those sample pages have gotten past the assistant to the agent. Four times, that agent has requested a full. And every single time, I’ve been turned down. Most of my rejections have been form letters. Some were very personal. One was handwritten. The personal letters were glowing. Unique voice. Clever style. Wonderful dialogue. But…but…but…no. They didn’t bother to get specific about the no. I understand why. They told the truth as much as they could. My stories didn’t grab them, and one cannot edit on that kind of info. If my story grabbed me, and if it grabbed those in my various circles who read it, then I can’t make it any more grabby. They say that all you need is one yes, but I haven’t found my grabbee yet.
I feel so…fingernails about the whole thing. Which is a weird feeling, I know. But I’m clinging. Sometimes I feel like I’m sooooo close, that I’m hanging inches away from that elusive yes. Blame it on the economy, blame it on e-books, blame it on the state of publishing today. Blame, blame, blame, there’s lots of it to go around. There’s lots of encouragement on the web, but there’s lots of reality, too. I read, keep trying, but I also read, maybe you’re not good enough. Maybe I haven’t written the best book yet, maybe that’s my current project, or the one after that, or the one after that. Maybe I should accept defeat and become an organ grinder, or an organ donor. I hear that some hospitals pay for plasma. If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be… I can’t finish. If it weren’t for my wonderful husband who believes people should follow their dreams when they can, I’d probably be homeless, hence the title of this post.
Good but not great? Maybe that’s where I am. I can’t find anything lacking in my manuscripts. I believe they are as good as I can make them at this point in my life. Don’t fear for me. I’ll keep writing, and I’m not looking for pity. I just wanted to share. And of course, I want to hear from you. To all those aspiring authors, do you ever feel fingernails about this process? And to all you published authors, how long did you have to hang there?