By Ali Cross
No one likes the word rejection. You’re the last to be picked for dodge-ball or the in-crowd doesn’t want you. You’re spurned by a lover, or turned down for a job. No one likes it, but we’ve all experienced it.
Rejection comes to all of us, usually in many forms at many different times through our lives. So the question is not if it will come, but how we’ll handle ourselves when it does.
Last week, I received a rejection from an agent that really hurt. The agent was one of my favorites and she’d requested to read my entire manuscript. I was full of hope that I might get accepted. Instead, I received those dreaded words “I’m afraid I have to pass.” Rejected.
Being rejected by a desirable agent is like being spurned by a lover. It doesn’t matter that they say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” You still feel judged and found lacking. “What’s wrong with me?” you think, followed by, “Why doesn’t anyone want me?” and maybe even, “Will I ever find someone to love me/my manuscript?”
You whine and wail, cry and fuss. Maybe you throw yourself down on your bed and have a good cry.
When you were a kid, your mom probably told you, “There’s always more fish in the sea,” and you may or may not have believed her.
But when it comes to agents, you really do have to take Mom’s advice and apply it. Chin up, put your best face on, and get right back out there.
Last week, after reading the email that might as well have been stamped with a big ol’ rubber stamp saying REJECTION, I teetered on the brink of decision. Give in and have a good cry, or hurry and send out a bunch more queries.
I chose the latter and of the ten more queries I sent out, two requested to read the full manuscript. So Mom was right—there really are more fish in the sea . . . be it lovers or agents, it’s all the same.
Rejection is just another opportunity to throw your hook back in. Keep on trying and one of these days you’ll catch yourself the best fish in the sea.