I have always had this paralytic fear of rejection. It has probably been the strongest motivating force in my life since the first grade. Maybe kindergarten. But definitely not before then. I was the shit in pre-school. Seriously. I was the kid all the other kids told their parents about when they asked them how their day was. And the boys LOVED me.
Ah, crap, I peaked at four.
Anyway. Kids got mean and I got self conscious and all my awesomeness got swallowed up by a swirling vortex of low-self esteem and fear. And it's pretty much been my compass. I quit field hockey when I got to high school because I didn't get that when they let you start a lot that means you're good. I never applied to Duke because it was my dream school and I was sure there was no way they were ever going to accept me. All my schools were safety schools. And auditions. * shudder * I can sing really well- when I'm not being judged. Put me in front of a director with a clipboard though, and I'm flat and sharp and all of a sudden afraid to sing with any kind of emotion. It's ridiculous in the saddest possible way. So, I take refuge in the written word. In my words. I write. Poems. Stories. Self indulgent blogs. And that works pretty well until you find yourself with a manuscript that you think is good enough to be published and read by people who aren't your best friends. Because that's when you need to find yourself an agent. And good luck with that.
Just thinking about query letters makes me feel like throwing up. The fact that I've queried at all is frankly a miracle. Here's the run down so far: 6 agents queried. 3 polite rejections. 1 silent rejection (she said on her page if you don't hear from her in 6 weeks, she isn't interested. I didn't). 2 I haven't heard from either way. Now, in the grand scheme of things 4, possibly 6 rejections isn't really notable. I mean, Gone with the Wind was rejected 38 times. But for a girl who has worn a lovely shade of yellow for the past 20 odd years it's kinda hard to deal with. But, and this has been pretty shocking for me, not as hard as I would have thought.
Okay, the first round was pretty damn depressing. There may have been bitter, self-loathing tears involved. It's hard not to doubt yourself. If this manuscript is as good as I think it is then why didn't any of them think so? If writing is good then it should be universally accepted as good, right? Thankfully, I have an awesomely supportive and intelligent bff who kicked my butt a little bit and reminded me of an important fact. I love Pride and Prejudice. I think that it's swell. I want to climb into it and live there- just as long as Colin Firth gets to be my Darcy. Megan, on the other hand, hates it. HATES. IT. It makes her want to gouge her eyes out. That -and her much appreciated bullying- gave me what I needed to go forward with the next round of queries.
I keep getting rejected but it's easier to deal with. In fact, I sent out the latest round of queries today and I'm almost looking forward to the rejections. BRING EM ON!!! REJECT ME, BABY! C'MON!! Every rejection I get just brings me a step closer to finding the agent who's going to want to represent me. I'll just keep querying till there's no one left and then fuck it there's always self publishing. I won't make a cent but at least I'll know that I did all that I could. Because that's the real test. Writing has always come pretty naturally to me but believing in myself is something that I have to work hard at every day. And strange as it may seem all the rejection that I've had in my life (personally and professionally) recently is helping me to do that.
So, bring it on, world. Bring it on. The more you reject me the closer I get to being who I need to be.
I am so deep at three o'clock in the morning