Waiting and waiting for a response from an agent is A WAITING GAME COCKTAIL MIXING INSOMNIA WITH DOUBT.
After getting the first and quite personalized “I encourage you to not give up,” I realized that I was in good company. As Harper Lee said, “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career, that before developing his talent, he could be wise to develop a thick hide.”
So, I share—I’ve submitted my query, submitted my synopsis, and first 10-15 pages. While I waited to hear back from a wonderful agent (I researched) who was looking to grow their clientele list, looking for women’s fiction, looking for page-turning stories—I kept writing.
- Then, I received word they wanted the completed manuscript. And then, I waited again—with excitement and anxiety—to hear back. While I waited—I kept writing. Of course, I was ecstatic. As a writer, I had made it through the slush pile. My query and synopsis that I edited and reedited so many times I could recite them by heart was brilliant! Yeah!!! I was moving into not just a-wanna-be writer—but to a reality of visualizing getting a call or an email marked important back from my researched agent. I didn’t sleep, not because of doubt—a publisher was actually interested in my work. What more could I ask for?
Then I when I opened my email, I stopped, my mouth dropped to the floor…. The manuscript does not match our mission.
- Silence is golden. I sat and actually shed a tear (or many two). How could I have been so off in this story? I tested the waters… friends, strangers, my writing group, and worked with a polished editor, who said I resonated with a story worth telling. Still, the silence felt like a blanket made of nails. But, I moved on… and I kept writing.
- Be discouraged.
- Be determined.
I chose to be determined. I told myself I would be okay… I kept writing.
I’m not giving up. Having an agent validates me as a writer. It’s a choice I made. I could self-publish, but I’m continuing with so much optimism, and fear of failure has been shredded into a million mental pieces. Yes, I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Being turned down doesn’t mean I’m a bad writer. I just haven’t found my prince yet. I think I’ll have to kiss quite a few frogs before I get to go to the ball!
** A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle was rejected 26 times before it was published.
** Agatha Christie had to wait four years before getting published.
~~ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected 12 times and J. K. Rowling was told “not to quit her day job.”
~~ Sanctuary by William Faulkner was called “unpublishable.”
## Lord of the Flies by William Golding was rejected 20 times before it was published.
## John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold was passed on because it “hasn’t got any future.”