Things I have learned about rejection (part 1)

Yep, I got another one. But whilst they hurt like hell (even if you knew they were coming), rejection is quite interesting. And yeah, I know there are loads of these things around, but this isn’t about ‘work on another project’ (trying it – not really working…). Instead, it’s random stuff wot goes on in my ‘ead.

So this is stuff I have learned recently about rejection so far:

1) Don’t, for the love of small kittens and good-looking chaps wielding large swords, find an agent and think ‘you’re perfect!’ and then spend hours fantasising about all that sweet literary music you’re going to make together. Because when they do reject your project, you’ve just made that rejection about 10 million times more painful than it needed to be. Not that I did that. (I totally did.)

2) Do allow yourself to feel bad. There’s so much crap out there about writers having to develop a thick skin and how nothing should get to us and yadda yadda yadda, but I call shenanigans on that one because you’re human and it’s natural to feel bad when someone says ‘no’ to you (well… okay, in this case. There are other times when people saying no to you is probably a good thing. When it says ‘do not feed the tigers’, you do not feed the tigers. Unless you’re that mad bloke in China. And look what happened to him… Hint: He didn’t turn into Tarzan). Approaching an agent is a bit like approaching that stranger you’ve been admiring on the train for months and you’ve just managed to pluck up the courage to say ‘hi!’, and rejection is the blank look they give you in reply (if you’re lucky – if you’re not, it’s one of those ‘and from which rock did you crawl out from under?’ looks), a polite smile and then looking the other way, making it absolutely clear that your attention is most definitely NOT wanted. It hurts. Of course it hurts. I would be worried if it didn’t. But…

3) Don’t dwell. I have a folder on my computer where I put all my rejections. I read ’em, feel horrible, then stick them in the folder. And I don’t look at ’em again. No point, other than to beat myself up with *has visions of Homer Simpson scrubbing the failure away*

4) Get Maltesers in the cupboard. Lots of them. Big family sized packs. Go on – they’re only a quid in Asda right now. I didn’t and would quite happily have punched the old woman over the road if it meant I could have got hold of a bag of those lovely chocolatey balls when I received my first rejection. But now I know better *sage nod*. Oh so better… *crunch, munch, munch*

5) Don’t stop loving your book. I have lost count of the times I have considered trunking Dragonsoul over the last 4 weeks, but then I go and read a bit of it and you know what? I do love it. I do believe in it. Okay, it might not be the book that ‘gets’ there, but I figure if I can’t love it, why should anyone else?

6) … but saying that, I am beginning to think having anything to do with dragons in your book title, even if your story isn’t explicitly about them, was a bit of a faux pas… :-/ Note to everyone: Unless you are four, or are Anne McCaffery, keep the dragons out of the title. (I should really have listened to my own advice there…)

7) Develop a Candy Crush obsession. Can’t worry about rejection when you’re dreaming about violently coloured explodey balls of frustration. Believe me, beating level 204 is SO much more important than getting an agent right now. ^^p

So, yeah. 4 weeks worth of querying, just over. It’s a steep learning curve, and no mistake. But so is Candy Crush. And if I can beat level 204, I can CONQUER THE WORLD!!!

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