Facing Rejection

I hear myself telling DD1 all the time that it doesn’t matter if she succeeds or fails, I’m proud of her for trying her hardest. For really putting in the effort. She sometimes believes me, and other times I get the annoyed preschooler look.

I totally don’t deserve it.

But, I have to walk the walk now that I’ve written, edited, rewrote, edited, rewrote again, and finally polished Crowned Prince.

I decided I wanted to try getting an agent and go the traditional publishing route if possible. There are pros and cons to both indie publishing and traditional, but I at least wanted to try traditional. Partially for their experience, but mostly for their amazing editors.

I know, I know, but one is not in the budget for us right now. While I take my writing seriously, I also take paying for two kids in daycare seriously. Don’t know if it’s like this everywhere, but where I live, my daycare bill is about twice the cost of an average mortgage payment. So, yeah, not much else is in the budget right now.

If I’m going to find an agent, I need to either meet one at a conference or query one. As a mom with two small children who works full time already, finding time or money for a conference also isn’t in the budget. So that means querying.

Not this kind of querying.

And being rejected A LOT.

I have a feeling your chances of getting in to Harvard are probably better. After all, they accept 5.2% of their applicants. But, if I want to get an agent, I have to query them.

This is like a lot of things in life.

  • Maybe you don’t like your job, but that means putting yourself out there to find a new one.
  • Maybe you’re single and want to meet someone.
  • Maybe you want to be an actor, but that means showing up for the auditions.

Everything is life is scarce. And the more you want it, the more of yourself you have to put out there to get it.

That means facing the very real risk of rejection. Of failure. Or not being good enough. Talented enough. Just not enough.

The platitude of at least you tried your hardest feels less genuine then, though, really, that’s when it matters most. Trying. Not giving up.


Persistence in the face of rejection is especially hard when you put so much of yourself into something. Like a job. Or a relationship. Or writing a book. Because this feels like a personal rejection. And we’re a heard animal. It’s ingrained in us to be part of the pack as those that weren’t usually didn’t have a happy ending.

But, I must face failure. I have to try, as I tell my daughter she must.

So I started the process. Looking up agents, trying to see who they represent and what they sell to see if I’ll be a fit. I even queried a few.

And got my first rejection.

It hurt less than I thought it would. But it still hurt.


How about you? Ever put yourself out there for something? Maybe a new job? A relationship? A book query? How did it go? Did it go better than you thought? If it didn’t, was the rejection or failure as bad as you thought it’d be?


Doubt: The Tyrannosaurus Demon

The niggle of doubt when I first sent out my work has grown into a full blown Tyrannosaurus demon, devouring any creativity I had and leaving me snarling and snapping.

Doubt. You remember him.

I got another rejection letter. Four of the five letters I send out have already been rejected.

Like a good little wannabe published writer, I went back to the Writer’s Market and read through a list of agents. I ticked off several that felt like a good fit, but found one that looked like an amazing fit. Visited their website, yes, the one agent in the publishing house looked like she was after exactly what I was writing. I read through their submissions guidelines, and recrafted my query letter to meet those exact guidelines.

And received an instant rejection as the agent was no longer accepting queries.  I promise nowhere on the webpage or the Writer’s Market did it indicate this was the case. I had read the submissions guidelines on the webpage thoroughly. Multiple times.

So, the entire time I had to write last night ended up being a complete waste of time.

And I’m still struggling with the query letter.

Maybe that means I don’t have enough conflict. Or not the right conflict.

Or, I’ve been reading too much on how to query in genres outside of mine.

No idea, but either way, I see why so many people quit. I see why the doubt can build up and you wonder what’s the point.

I made myself finish off the night by repacking it and sending it to yet another agent.

I’m getting to that point, but I’m not there yet.