Earlier this year I had a full request on my manuscript. It was followed a few weeks later by rejection. Honestly? It hurt like hell. Rejection hurts, and there’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself to feel it. But it’s important to take more from it than that. After some reflection, these are the things I’ve taken from it.
Not all rejections come with advice. But on the occasion that they do, it is so valuable. The agent who sent my recent rejection was kind enough to share some of his reasons. These were so constructive, and have already given me loads to think about as I work on my next project. Search your rejection for anything that might help you learn. It can be hard to pick out and analyse criticism of your work, but if it helps you to improve then it’s worth it.
When reading through the criticism it can be easy to gloss over any encouragement. But many agents are quick to explain that opinions are objective, and your work could easily be suitable for another agent. They may even compliment your writing skills as well as wishing you luck as you progress as a writer. Take it and hold onto it.
Let the ‘no’ fuel your passion. Let it increase your determination to succeed. Remember that each ‘no’ takes you a step closer to finding your ‘yes.’ Let it push you to edit more, work on more projects, write more books. Reflect on how much you believe in your work, on the fact you ever felt confident enough to send it out in the first place. A ‘no’ is still an accomplishment, because submitting your work to an agent is a huge step. And however disappointed you may be, dust off and carry on.
Share your rejection stories below, and share anything you were able to take from them.
And until then,
Keep writing (and editing, and querying!)