Nobody likes to be rejected, but rejection on some level, can be validating. I am not advocating a loser’s mentality here (whatever that is) but in some sense, I did my homework.
For all I know, my message contained numerous gaffes, stupid slips, poorly thought out appeals. Still, I got it submitted—baby! Or, maybe it was awesome and inspiring. All the same, I got rejected.
It was a nice electronic form letter telling me to keep trying; that the agent appreciated the consideration, and there are plenty of other agents out there with different tastes. Woe is me.
So my first agent query rejection is under my belt. But, what does this really mean for me in my writer’s journey? What can I take from this experience?
It indicates that my writing is ready for consideration. If rejection is an option, so is acceptance—right? Of course, without knowing the real reason why my query was rejected, I will never know if it was because it was simply plain awful or maybe the agent really didn’t like my kind of story and didn’t want to get behind it. But, I know that it is not awful—in my heart of hearts.
I won’t count how many famous authors have been rejected here in this post, but it is no secret that J.K. Rowling was rejected numerous times before her first Harry Potter book was accepted. I read that one of Stephen Kings first breakout novels was rejected 20 times or so—was it Carrie? I can’t recall. But, I do recall that apparently his wife picked a copy out of the trash bin and told him to keep selling it. It eventually sold. He eventually became a big deal. You may have heard of him.
It was the hockey legend Wayne Gretzky who once said that you miss hundred perecent of the shoots you never take. And so it goes in the world of fiction—you have a hundred perecent rejection rate on the books that have never been submitted for consideration.
So where does that put me in my writer’s journey today? It should be obvious: In the company of greats.
Matt De Reno is the author of the Midas Protocol—a book currently rejected as of the date of this posting.