Rejection is hard.
HARD I tell you.
I've been querying Book One. Fourteen little queries lovingly and anxiously crafted and sent out to my top 14 agents. I got my first rejection two days after emails were sent.
The next day, I got a request from an agent I LOVE for a full manuscript(!!!).
She later passed :(
And since then, nothing but passes. Passes--not even a standard rejection, just the passing of time which means "Sorry, not for us."
Sigh. Realistically, I didn't expect anything. Did I hope for it? Oh my, yes. (Especially after that request for a full--glory. I could not tame the hope inside of me). Now, I don't know what to do. Does my query stink? Does my story stink? Is it just not marketable? My little hope balloon has completely deflated. After that pass on the full I got to the point (and am still there) where I expect nothing but passes. I've stopped obsessively checking my email. I ignore the highlighted dates in my planner telling me I should have heard from Agent x, y, or z by now.
I wrote a list after my first couple of rejections titled "What to do if everyone passes". Number one was "Write something else."
So I am. I'm back to my fantasy piece, which I am loving, and which is coming together (the voice still isn't there the way I want it to be, but we're in first draft mode, so that's ok). I plan on querying this one when it's polished, and have set a goal of queries going out in December. That gives me three months to polish, rewrite, polish, rewrite. I get all nervous because even though I've done this before (polished a manuscript), I worry that I won't be able to do it again. I worry that Book One isn't good like I think it is. I worry that getting published won't happen.
I'll still write if that never happens. And love it.
But oh, ya'll, to be able to quit my job and write ALL THE TIME....the idea makes me delirious with joy. What a gift that would be. How many more stories could I create, how many more characters could I get to know if I didn't have to be somewhere else, doing something else, for 40+ hours each week. Imagine.
I feel so late in the game writing wise. Some people on my crit board are young (in their teens) and they already have amazing talent. I often wonder, if I had started doing this when I was 16 or 17, how much better would I be? Would I be published by now? I don't know, and it's stupid to wonder. I'm thankful that I discovered writing. And that I was brave and started doing it despite the millions of fears that made me want to not try. I'm thankful for my stories, even if no one ever gets to read them but me.
Trying to get published is hard. Having people critique your work is hard. Having people say NOTHING about your work is, for me, the hardest thing. I don't like quiet. To me it means rejection and dislike and failure. Heaven help me, I am such a creature of affirmation. Which makes trying to get published - trying to convince someone that my writing is good, that my story is good - crazy hard.
I just want to write. And to share these stories--stories mean so much to me. They affect me in ways few other things ever have...maybe more than anything else ever has. If I could do that for someone else - affect someone in the core of their being in a way that they can't even articulate; to have my story resonate truth to someone in a way only a story can do - that would be the world. Stories are beautiful...even the hard ones. I hope I write a million more stories, late in the game and unpublishable though I may be.