This has been a difficult year so far. I’ve had new tasks piled on top of the old ones at work and I also spent a lot of time writing and editing several writing projects. Most of the time I feel overworked and on the brink of giving up. Particularly when I open my inbox – like just minutes ago – and find another rejection waiting for me. A kind one, this time, but nonetheless painful.
The YA novel I’ve been working on for four years has received feedback from several CPs and beta readers. I’ve revised it about a dozen times to incorporate their suggestions and ideas, until it felt polished and my CPs agreed it was ready for submission. That was at the beginning of the year. It’s been sent out to dozens of agents by now with most of them rejecting it. Quite a few commented that the novel was good on sentence level but it wasn’t marketable. Sigh. This ultimately means it will forever remain in my desk drawer unless I find the energy to drag myself back to the drawing board and revise it extensively. Right now I’d rather organize a tea party for dragons.
Then, there’s the MG novel I first wrote fifteen years ago. Two author friends read it back then and liked the idea but not so much the execution. I was swamped with other work back then so I sort of forgot about it until I came across it a couple of years ago. I re-wrote it completely so it barely resembles the first draft. In its new shape, I sent it off to an editor. She praised it how it was well-written with compelling characters and dealing with a current issue which would make it easy to sell. Encouraged by her words, I sent it out to a handful of agents. And guess what – most of them (still waiting on a few to respond) rejected it, with the latest rejection email saying they didn’t absolutely fall in love with it.
So I’m thinking, what are the chances of me finding an agent who would absolutely fall in love with something I wrote? Even if I sent the manuscript to every agent representing the genre, there would still be so many other factors involved, like the market being swamped by similar books, other issues connected to marketability, agents having their lists full, or even just them having a bad day and not giving the query a chance.
The chances are minute and I wonder if it’s worth dedicating so much of my time and energy for something that just ends up in my drawer. After all, my drawers are getting a bit crammed by now.
How do you all cope with rejection? I find it doesn’t get any easier with time.
2 Replies to “When you want to give up #amwriting”
Hi Brigita. Sorry to hear about the rejections you received. and wanted to send you two links which might give an alternative perspective. the first is from Cheryl Strayed, maybe you know her. Here’s an interview with her: http://99u.com/articles/7190/cheryl-strayed-on-binge-writing-doling-out-advice-finding-clarity
and a writer who thought she had realized her dream of finding an agent and being a published author: https://medium.com/the-1000-day-mfa/how-being-published-by-the-big-six-fucked-me-up-a009fb742d07
as i see it, these days you can also take the route to self-publish a first book – just because you don’t find an agent doesn’t mean you can only leave a book in your drawer. i also guess that agents actually look which self-published authors / books are successful and which writers have developed a readership etc.
all the best for you~~
Thanks for commenting and the links, Dorothee. I read the posts and I agree with both of them. Especially the one by Grimes. I’ve published with indie publishers before so I know what that requires. It’s because of that I’d like to find an agent to take care of the business side of things. But like with everything, there’s a good side and a bad side to both, indie publishing and the big five. I’d just like to try the alternative way now. In the end, I can still publish independently.