08 March 2011

Finally remembered what I wanted to talk about...

Over the weekend, I received a*nother* form rejection from an agent I would have nuked Paris to work with (and dammit, I love me some Paris even though I've never been). I was sad for a while (two days). And then I started talking about my book with friends.

And I felt a LOT better about it. Because I realized how much I love it.

Here's the thing. I know rejections hurt. They suck. But this is a business. And rejections are business decisions. Much like not getting that awesome job you applied for. A candidate is better suited to their needs, but that doesn't mean you won't get a job somewhere else. A job where the staff is really excited you're there. A supportive place. A place you actually don't hate going every day.

Personal story: In Cincinnati, there are two main publishing houses. F+W publishing (which prints "Guide to Literary Agents") and the other one I can't remember the name of. Anyway, they're both non-fiction pubs, but I thought it'd be awesome to work there, get my foot in the door. Learn about the other side. I'm a grammar nazi. I know how to work with writers. I am a writer, so I understand the inner workings of the craft.

I didn't get hired at either one. And yes, I've applied again. And...yeah...nope.

Yes, I was devastated. What good is an English degree when you don't want to teach or write for newspapers? I wondered (oh yeah, totally just did that). So I had my little pity party. I applied at other places, but F+W just seemed like THE ONE.

After working a few temp jobs, I finally landed at my hotel. And yes, sometimes I dread the act of going to work. I wonder if the guests will be awesome or a-holes. But I can honestly tell you that this is the only job I've ever had where I feel at home. Where my mood improves when I come in. Where people are genuinely glad I'm here.

And I want that feeling with the agent or pubber who picks up my book. I want them to be genuinely happy and excited that they chose my book. And me.

Maybe it won't be Duality. That's a fact I have to face. SF isn't hot right now. It could potentially be Spark. Or TTA. But whichever one it is, I want the person who chooses it to love it as much as I do. Love it more, even. Cuz even though the agent who passed was a potential One, she just wasn't The One. And I'm okay with that.

11 comments:

Elaine AM Smith said...

It is human to feel the sadness of rejection before moving on. I read somewhere that each reject takes you closer to the one who says yes.

lexcade said...

It's true. That's a basic selling principle, too. You'll go through a lot of "no"s before you get a yes.

Nicole Zoltack said...

You just need one yes. And a lot of it is timing too. Maybe Duality needs to sit a little for the market to turn around. Maybe agents will be clamoring to read it when SF gets hot again. It's impossible not to get bummed so long as you can pick yourself up and get back to the keyboard. :)

lexcade said...

That's the truth. Keeping busy is the best way to trudge down Query Road.

And you're probably right. I'm gonna try to figure out the trending genres right now (Paranormal and YA are definitely hot) and watch like a hawk for SF to come back. makes me a little nervous to query though, lol. I'd rather not alienate all the agents.

Brenda said...

I had a totally random thought recently that getting an agent was like dating online. I never actually dated online, but tons of my friends have and it seems much the same to me...you post your profile, look at those you're interested in, send a little nudge of introduction and then wait to be rejected b/c he's really only into blondes or she's just way too tall. It's easy to be the rejector b/c the requests keep coming, especially if you've got a hot profile. I could go on and on with this, but I'll spare you. :)The key, though, to dating online is to remember that people are seldom who their 10-year-old college pic says they are and you might just thank your lucky stars you found out the fast and easy way instead of, say, spending lots of money on a plane ticket or something. :)

the cautionary tale said...

Even after my ms got picked up for pub, I still was sad about rejections I continued to get. It's natural.

lexcade said...

Definitely a good point, Brenda. I'd hate to think about the issues that could potentially creep in and spoil the entire experience.

I know it's natural. Sometimes it rolls off, and sometimes it just sucks like crazy. Hopefully SF will really kick in soon and people will be like OMG I WANT IT I WANT IT! And I'll be like...maybe...

Jack LaBloom said...

I’m old enough to have learned one big success will wipe out all previous rejections. When I had a chance to do something different, I tried oil painting, but it wasn’t in my blood so I decided to see if I could write a novel. I wrote for 19 hours straight with only short breaks. That was in my blood.

Two weeks later, when I had 40,000 words of my novel written, I signed up for a one day class at a local university. The class was being offered by a traveling professional editor. For a fee, he would read the first five pages of our novels and tell us what we needed to change.

There were several people in the class. He read a few of the other class member’s pages. He praised them and told them a few things they should do to improve their beginning, but nothing too serious.

When it was my turn, I was really excited and handed him my five pages. Before he started reading, he told me I needed to double space. Then he started reading aloud and then stopped. He told me I needed to start a new chapter when a different character speaks. He started reading again and soon stopped. He told me I had misspelled a word. It was like that the whole way through my five pages. Starting and stopping. You couldn’t tell what the story was about because he never completed more than one or two sentences, before he would stop and make a comment. Others in the class started snickering. He handed the pages back to me without saying one good thing about my writing. One person in the class sitting across from me mumbled, “That’s the worst case scenario for a writer.”

When the class was over, I walked to my car while others stood outside and chatted. By the time I pulled out of the parking lot, there were two things I knew for certain. My writing was so bad, I could only get better, and I would learn how to write fiction or die trying.

We live in a world where instant success appears to be the norm, but we all know that is far from being true. When you dig into most success stories, there was a lot of hard work and commitment involved. Most people get knocked down a few times, before they become success stories. The only people who truly fail are those who don’t get back up and try again.

I personally know several successful authors. Every one of them struggled, some for years, before they got published. The one thing they all have in common: every one of them never gave up.

Lexcade, the world is a better place because of people like you. You have the sweetest heart, and it shows in the way you respond to people’s posts on QT. If I’ve noticed that, so have many others. In my opinion, you are already a success. But I am sure you will become an even greater success in your writing.

I guess you never heard the story about the hotel employee who was riding in an elevator with James Patterson. He told Patterson he had written a novel too. Patterson told him to get him a copy of the manuscript and he would read it. The hotel employee ended up co-writing a novel with Patterson.

You never know when or where that first door will open up for you.

Hang in there, Lexcade. Tomorrow is a new day. I have all the confidence in the world in you.

lexcade said...

For some reason, this comment from Jack LaBloom (http://jacklabloom.blogspot.com/) didn't post, so I'm going to make the assist.

I’m old enough to have learned one big success will wipe out all previous rejections. When I had a chance to do something different, I tried oil painting, but it wasn’t in my blood so I decided to see if I could write a novel. I wrote for 19 hours straight with only short breaks. That was in my blood.

Two weeks later, when I had 40,000 words of my novel written, I signed up for a one day class at a local university. The class was being offered by a traveling professional editor. For a fee, he would read the first five pages of our novels and tell us what we needed to change.

There were several people in the class. He read a few of the other class member’s pages. He praised them and told them a few things they should do to improve their beginning, but nothing too serious.

When it was my turn, I was really excited and handed him my five pages. Before he started reading, he told me I needed to double space. Then he started reading aloud and then stopped. He told me I needed to start a new chapter when a different character speaks. He started reading again and soon stopped. He told me I had misspelled a word. It was like that the whole way through my five pages. Starting and stopping. You couldn’t tell what the story was about because he never completed more than one or two sentences, before he would stop and make a comment. Others in the class started snickering. He handed the pages back to me without saying one good thing about my writing. One person in the class sitting across from me mumbled, “That’s the worst case scenario for a writer.”

When the class was over, I walked to my car while others stood outside and chatted. By the time I pulled out of the parking lot, there were two things I knew for certain. My writing was so bad, I could only get better, and I would learn how to write fiction or die trying.

We live in a world where instant success appears to be the norm, but we all know that is far from being true. When you dig into most success stories, there was a lot of hard work and commitment involved. Most people get knocked down a few times, before they become success stories. The only people who truly fail are those who don’t get back up and try again.

I personally know several successful authors. Every one of them struggled, some for years, before they got published. The one thing they all have in common: every one of them never gave up.

Lexcade, the world is a better place because of people like you. You have the sweetest heart, and it shows in the way you respond to people’s posts on QT. If I’ve noticed that, so have many others. In my opinion, you are already a success. But I am sure you will become an even greater success in your writing.

I guess you never heard the story about the hotel employee who was riding in an elevator with James Patterson. He told Patterson he had written a novel too. Patterson told him to get him a copy of the manuscript and he would read it. The hotel employee ended up co-writing a novel with Patterson.

You never know when or where that first door will open up for you.

Hang in there, Lexcade. Tomorrow is a new day. I have all the confidence in the world in you.

Eliza Faith said...

I'm on rejection road to...not fun. My key to staying sane is to work on other projects.

Tracy said...

Lex, you're so smart! It is hard sometimes to realize The One isn't actually the one. But you're right. You want to ultimately be with the person who gets so excited by your work that they're willing to fight for your story as hard, after you turn it in to them, as you did to get it to them in the first place!

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