Yesterday was cold, gloomy, and snowy, but the worst part was that I got six rejections of my query letter within twelve hours. Don’t let anyone tell you that being a writer is easy. It’s not. I don’t know any other job where you open yourself up to that much criticism in that short of a time unless it’s being an actor, musician, or artist.
Two of the agents outright told me they were rejecting me because they wouldn’t take on a client that competed with their existing clients. Two of them said that they only represent commercial YA not literary YA (um? My novel is a literary novel? Okay… good to know), and the other two were form rejections that were addressed to “Dear author.” Nice.
If I hadn’t had those requests early on from other agents (I’m still waiting to hear back by the way), I think I’d be strongly tempted to scrap this whole project. Over the years I’ve been writing, I’ve gotten used to rejections. One or two a day doesn’t even faze me anymore. But six in one day? Come on!
Noah Lukeman, a very successful literary agent, said that an aspiring author should never give up on a project until they have sent out at least 200 queries. TWO HUNDRED. That’s a mind boggling number. I’m still in the very low double digits, so I guess I have a ways to go. But it’s hard. All that rejection, it can mess with your head a little. We writers are a crazy bunch, not because we open ourselves to so much rejection, but because our hopes and dreams live on in spite of it.