Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Rejections

Another one today. I comfort myself that at least the novel is being read in its entirety rather than just the first three chapters. I felt quite resolute yesterday when I received the email saying No. But today I woke up feeling really down. You know - sluggish, irritable, insecure - all of that. It had evidently been brewing in my sleep. Then I thought about this agency and realised that a) I rang them twice and they never returned my calls; b) I emailed them several times and they didn't respond to my emails; c) the ms was lost in the post and d) they are a very long way from Cornwall. Do I really want an agent that treats me like that? Of course not. An agent should believe in me and my work, be behind me all the way. So I sent the first three chapters off to the next agent on my list before I could draw breath.

Today I will nurse my bruises and look out at the sun. I will decide who next to send it to, and keep my spirits up. But no one likes being kicked in the teeth (that's what it feels like) least of all me.

The good thing about writing journalism as well is that I went to the Farmers Market after walking the dog first thing and one of the stallholders saw me and said, "LOVELY article on David!" (This was one of the other stallholders I've just written a piece on.) THAT made me feel good!

26 comments:

CC Devine said...

Who needs an agent who's going to treat you like that? Well done on dusting yourself off so quickly after that rejection.

Get back out there and the right agent will come along.

Best of luck!

Debs said...

I agree with you re the agent. Big hugs though as rejections are horrible.

Send it back out there.

Dx

L-Plate Author said...

I've had that agent who never returned emails etc, god forbid if I ever rung her, oh my. It wasn't a great time in my life and knocked my confidence for a full year after she 'retired' (still not sure I believe that one).

It's hard to pick yourself up but you do. It's what makes us writers FP. We do it again and again until we get the result we want.

You can have my motto for luck - onwards and upwards!

And well done for a request for a full, not many of us get that far! x

liz fenwick said...

Such a bl**dy roller coaster sometimes.......sending hugs your way. x

ChrisH said...

It's particularly galling when you've come so close - big hugs, Flowerpot. Well done too for sending it out again. KEEP GOING!

Paige said...

"So I sent the first three chapters off to the next agent on my list before I could draw breath."

Ah, that's what I should have done. I've dwelled too long on one particular rejection I got and its caused all my hope, determination and confidence to fly out the window. I currently have no plans on subbing to agents... my confidence is still pretty low.

Rejections are really tough and you do need a thick skin sometimes to deal with them.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Rejection?

Their loss. And anyone who cannot be arsed to observe the common decencies of human communication (no matter busy they might be), especially in a field that is all about comunication, is clearly no good at their job and not someone you would want as an agent.

Huge hugs, anyway, cos it still feels horrible.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Rejection?

Their loss. And anyone who cannot be arsed to observe the common decencies of human communication (no matter busy they might be), especially in a field that is all about comunication, is clearly no good at their job and not someone you would want as an agent.

Huge hugs, anyway, cos it still feels horrible.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Rejection?

Their loss. And anyone who cannot be arsed to observe the common decencies of human communication (no matter busy they might be), especially in a field that is all about comunication, is clearly no good at their job and not someone you would want as an agent.

Huge hugs, anyway, cos it still feels horrible.

Flowerpot said...

cc - thanks for that. We have to keep believing don't we?

Debs - yes I do believe in it so I will keep sending it out. But it aint easy!

l-plate - thanks. This is the second request for a full so I must be improving which encourages me.

Liz - thanks for the hugs! much appreciated.

Flowerpot said...

Chris - thanks and hope you had a good holiday - ! Look forward to hearing about it! And many thanks for the hugs - the more the better!

paige - oh, try not to dwell too long on rejections. I've done that and all it does is drag your confidence down to floor level so you can't do anything. Please keep going. Hugs to you too.

Graeme - YOu phrased my feelings much more eloquently than me! And many thanks for another hug - I'm feeling better already!

Rowan Coleman said...

Keep going love, we all get rejections sometimes. Even when you've been published you still get rejections!! its part of being a writer and a human being. A request for a full read is a good thing and really all you are waiting for is the right agent for your book, its a bit like finding a boyfriend only with less kissing. (Usually....)

Graeme K Talboys said...

Not sure why I appeared in triplicate - must be going through a bureaucratic phase.

Lane said...

Well done for getting your m/s straight back out there. Rejections always hurt but they were definitely not the agent for you.
((hugs)) to you fp and well done on all your journalism successes too.

And to Paige - get your m/s out again. Please don't let a rejection wreck your confidence. They're not worth it. Keep going:-)

Paige said...

Thanks Flowerpot and Lane.

I got the rejection nearly two months ago and haven't done anything since. My confidence is already at floor level. I don't know what to do to raise it. Any suggestions?

Clare Sudders said...

Commiserations, rejections are horrid. Have you ever considered multiple simultaneous submissions? I know some people advise against it, but my experience has been that nobody minds these days. It can also sharpen / speed them up if they know they have competition. It was such a joyous moment for me when I was able to email 20 agents and tell them that I'd been offered representation and therefore needed to know whether they might also be interested / were still interested... it worked too - galvanised many of them into action and meant that I potentially had a choice of agent.

The thing is, many of them will take months to respond, but it's such a lottery. no matter how much research you do, you can never really know whether one particular agent is the right one for you and whether they will like your stuff, so the more you approach, the better chances you have. But if you do them one at a time, allowing several weeks and sometimes months for each submission to come to a conclusion... it could take you years and years to find someone!

Clare Sudders said...

"I got the rejection nearly two months ago and haven't done anything since. My confidence is already at floor level. I don't know what to do to raise it. Any suggestions?"

Grit your teeth and write something new. Don't allow yourself to make any excuses. Just do it. You have to move forwards or you'll never be a writer. Even the best face rejection, it's a fact of the writing life. You just have to put it behind you and move on, and new material is a good way of doing that because it has all that sparkly new promise and none of the old baggage of something which has been rejected.

Ironically I would also say that multiple submissions helps you through rejection, too. Multiple submissions = multiple rejections, but the steady stream means that no individual rejection carries such weight, and also means that you get used to it. To give you an idea: I sent my first novel to 0 publishers and 15 agents, and they all rejected it. EXCEPT for the one publisher, who published it! Woohoo. The more rejections you face, you more hope you have that one of them will be an acceptance. My latest novel was also rejected by about 30 agents before one of them took me on, and I now have a publishing deal. You never know when the good news will come, but there's no way you'll ever get it if you let the bad news grind you to a halt.

Clare Sudders said...

"I sent my first novel to 0 publishers"

Should say 20, not 0...

Clare Sudders said...

P.S. Maybe I should clarify... when I said write new material, I didn't mean ditch the existing work... just that new material helps you to keep moving forward and have more than one thing to think about, and means all eggs are not in one basket.

Incidentally, once you get an agent they start sending your work out to publishers... who then reject it...

I was delighted to get an agent last year and still am, but as he is very good at his job and has shown my work to several editors in each of about 30 countries so far... that is one hell of a lot of rejections.

You HAVE to get used to rejection, or you may as well forget about being a writer. The best writers face it. It's horrible but it's a fact of life, and you're not alone.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Big hug, Flowerpot - and very well done for getting back on the horse so soon after falling off. It's the only way, even though the bruises still hurt. Your baby will find a home one of these days. (And I'd recommend considering Clare's suggestion about sending to more than one agent at a time, I did that and although in my case it hasn't yet led to acceptance and I'm now doing more work on my novel, it did speed things up and I don't think I annoyed anyone in the process.)

And, Paige, it might help to consider that you don't actually need confidence to send off an MS. You simply need the physical ability and resources to print it out, put it in an envelope and post it. So I'd suggest you do exactly what Flowerpot has done, and send it out even though you feel lousy about it. (As well as doing what Clare suggests which I think is an excellent idea.)

Flowerpot said...

rowan - I love that analogy - and relieved to find that it involves less kissing!

Graeme - well it was worth reading in triplicate.

Lane - it's great to have such support: thanks!

Flowerpot said...

Clare - I have been sending out multiple submissions, but that particular agent requested that I didnt send to anyone else while they were reading it. Hah! So I will send it off to the next two on my list as well. I quite agree about getting used to rejections. I'd sort of lost heart with this lot anyway, so it didnt matter quite as much! Very cheering comment thuogh Clare many thanks. Journalism helps too - I have had enough rejections there but have succeeded in teh end. I've got used to those rejections and dont take it personally any more.

And I agree wholeheartedly on advice for Paige. Get writing again - don't give in. PLEASE.

Flowerpot said...

Zinnia - thanks for the hug. And yes I do believe it will find a home - and I have rewritten it in the process so it is getting better all the time.

Clare Sudders said...

Ooh that makes me so mad when agents ask for exclusivity. It's all very well, but not at all practical for a writer in search of an agent, and we have to jump through enough hoops as it is.

I had one agent say that, so I told her it was too late and explained exactly why I thought it was such an unfair request... interestingly she went on to read my full ms after that (despite me having effectively refused to give her exclusivity) and obviously gave it careful consideration (gave me detailed feedback, although still said no) - I thought she'd tell me where to go.

Clare Sudders said...

You know what, thinking about all this I actually find myself missing the days when I was in regular contact with all those agents and receiving all those rejections. The thing is that now, it all happens away from me, out of my control, with my agent doing all the legwork... and I don't get to see all the rejections or even know exactly who is looking at the book at any one time... and I'd actually rather be closer to the action - even though it would mean a whole load more rejection.

wordtryst said...

That agent sounds like bad news, and it's better to find out before you sign a contract with them.

Having said that, rejections are part and parcel of this business. They always hurt, but you learn to take them in stride and move on. I try to adopt the insurance salesman's motto: every rejection moves you one step closer to the acceptance.

I agree with Clare re multiple submissions, and as far as exclusives go, one famous blogging agent said that they suck, and you should never give more than a two week exclusive if you do it at all.

And super congrats on your journalism success!