This week I received my first rejection letter from an agent in regards to my manuscript, and I have some mixed feelings about it.
About six weeks ago, I sent my manuscript off to a handful of agents. It was my exciting first step into the world of publishing. My dream of becoming a published writer was finally becoming real and even though I was still a far ways off from becoming a published writer, it was exciting to be stepping onto that long and promising road.
Fast-forward to now and I am still unpublished, unagented, and I have my first rejection letter. Whenever I began this journey to become a published writer, I had always told myself that I was going to frame and hang my first rejection letter above my writing desk, to light a fire under my chair and inspire me to do better.
However, there isn’t much to frame…
Don’t think this post is about me throwing myself a pity party. I have been rejected. Yes. And I will be rejected many more times to come. J.K. Rowling was rejected “loads” of times before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was picked up. Even Stephen King’s Carrie was rejected 30 times before it was published.
In no way do I consider myself to be a master of the craft such as Rowling or King, but I admire their perseverance. Had they given up after their first rejection letter, we would never have experienced their stories and wonderful characters.
If you want to become a writer, you cannot buckle under the pressure of rejection. Ideally, each rejection letter would give you tips on how to fix your work and make it better. Unfortunately for me, I did not receive such critical feedback (which is understandable, this agent probably fields hundreds of submissions a week).
To be a writer, you must have an inner fire and a story that you want the world to read. You must have the perseverance to handle rejection and turn disappointment into motivation.
Am I disappointed that my manuscript didn’t garner rousing praises and immediate responses and offers for representation?
However, it would have been unrealistic to expect that to happen with my first ever manuscript. Some writers never have their first manuscript published! This is not the end of my writing career, but only the beginning.
In the immortal words of Yoda:
So, to all my fellow writers out there: keep writing.