Tag Archives: disappointment

Personalized Rejection Letters

I love it when an agent actually writes you a letter saying why a project didn’t work for them. It’s considerate, sometimes helpful, and more encouraging than a cookie-cutter rejection letter.

It still hurts though.

I’ve been waiting for six weeks to hear from the one agent who liked my #Pitmad tweet in December. This weekend I’ve been gearing up to actually start querying again, and then I opened my email to see her letter. She mentioned my main character by name and that she liked the tone, but the sample chapters were “too expected” and she didn’t feel compelled to read more.

I appreciated the time she took to highlight what she liked about the MS, although in some sense it hurt more when she didn’t want to give it a chance and read beyond chapter 3. Rejection is a huge part of the writing process, but it sucks. I can see why people give up sometimes or lose faith that their book will ever leave their computer. For me, I don’t want to give up writing, but it makes it hard to continue on with the same project. I think, “Maybe this other novel will be better, I should work on that one instead and forget about this one.” It’s true another MS may be stronger, but that doesn’t mean the one I’m querying now isn’t good, but why aren’t agents liking it when my critique groups have enjoyed it, but did the changes I add hurt the story, but what if I haven’t changed enough…ok I’ll stop now.

This whole process keeps me second-guessing everything I’ve put into my novel and now I’m procrastinating querying again, even though I’ve put months of revisions into the MS and re-written the query and synopsis multiple times. There is never “the perfect” time to query, and while the logic part of my brain knows that, the emotional part of my brain is afraid of getting another 50 rejection letters. The timing of this latest (although sweet) rejection letter is not helping.

If anyone has read King’s “On Writing” you will know he had a nail over his bed as a kid where he kept his rejection letters. That hanging reminder helped him move forward. I need to see past the rejections and keep going forward with this book, and then when my other MSs are ready, query them as well. Another book may be published before this one, but for now, I know this one is complete. There is no such thing as a perfect MS (we’ve all read published books we hated or with the occasional bad chapter) so why not keep going?

I’m also hoping if I say this over and over it will make it easier…not sure if it’s working yet!

Today I may not query, but my goal is to send out a couple emails this week. Today I will go through the first 15 pages and triple-check for grammar errors and probably fuss with some wording or something. I’ll review my query and synopsis again and see if I need to fuss with those too.

Keep going, don’t fall off the metaphorical horse, and seek solace in your family, friends, and critique partners.


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My list of 75 agents is growing smaller and smaller. I didn’t realize how many agencies have a policy where “A no from one of us is a no from all of us.” I have to trust they actually shared my query with their co-workers, otherwise I may have missed a chance. Two agencies have said no, and I was hoping to query about 8 people I now can’t because of this policy.

My heart is racing. I turned on some fun music to pump myself up today, and I finished 4 queries. My query letter is good and my MS has been edited about 4 times so I hope it’s ok. I don’t want to exhaust my options. Again. I know it’s all part of the process, but it’s still disheartening.

Two weeks ago when I had a MS request was the most excited I’ve been in a long time. The no from that was hard, but not as hard as it could have been since I prepared for it. Yet, with each query sent I feel rejection is inevitable. It’s hard to get out of this funk. Self-publishing is not an option for this book so I have to hope an agent likes it.

If I go through all my agents, then what? This question has been plaguing me since the first rejection. I’ve been through this before, but my skin is not as tough as I thought it was. Do I start a new project? Do I push harder for this one? Do I, I dunno, troll Facebook for answers? I want to be optimistic but having a back up plan would help me a lot. Anyone have some good advice? Anyone been through this funk before? Wisdom welcome!!!

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I have been so unmotivated to write lately. Life really has been crazy. I’ve been fostering 5 kittens, interviewing for jobs, housesitting, babysitting, and making a birthday dinner for gramma! There have been a lot of distractions that have taken away from my time and mental readiness to write.

Today, however, I had nothing on my schedule.

It is a day off. I feel exhausted today so I decided to take a personal day at home and see where the mood took me. I watched some TV and got bored, so I cleaned the hamster cage. Still bored, so I cleaned the fish tank. I vacuumed, washed dishes, I shopped online for cat supplies, and made basil fried rice for dinner. It was a beautifully productive day, yet although I had the energy and motivation to do so many things today, I could not bring myself to write. It has been a frustrating and depressing lack of motivation. Apparently I will do anything around the house to avoid writing.

I took some time to ponder this today and I think it boils down to not wanting any more rejection. So far, every agent I have queried has said no or has not responded–and we all know no response means “no thanks” in many agencies. 32 people have rejected my book, and that along with the rest of the stress in my life I think has gotten to me. I consider myself a positive person, but everyone has a breaking point. I think that’s another reason why I do not want to write a synopsis. The goblin in the back of my head is saying “what’s the point” when in reality the synopsis might be my saving grace. Who knows. The publishing world is so subjective it drives me crazy!

I need to find motivation again. I’m hoping once I land a job, get an apartment, and figure out a routine everything will fall into place. Right now anything sounds more appealing than writing and that’s not a healthy place to me. I love to create. I know I love to create, yet I’ve fallen into a void of avoidance that is difficult to escape.

Maybe I need to read more. Anyone have suggestions? Any great books that inspire you to create in any form?


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Sample Audio Book Fail

So I’m trying to compile a sample audio book of The Healing Pool to post on the interwebs, but I’ve run into an interesting problem: I sound so bored!

Let me explain: I do not believe my book is boring. I do not believe reading is boring. I think the process of reading my book for the 1000th time while noticing the little grammar errors I missed is throwing me off! Also, the idea that I need a recording that is free from messed up words/sounds/etc. makes for several start-overs and reading again. And again. and again….

I wish that an audio book could have a “live” version, kinda like how some musicians have live recordings of their songs on CDs and such. I wish there were kids oohing and aahhing in the background or something to give it that extra punch. I don’t think it works that way though…

Any tips for recording an audio book to make it sound as awesome as I want it to be? My recording equipment is not stellar, but then this is a sample audio book. I’m not trying to sell this or anything, I just want people to get interested and excited! Any advice on how to sound interested or excited while reading would be great to hear please.


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Blame it on the Weather

This past Thursday I had a book signing event at the Appleton Public Library. I had posters everywhere, the youth librarian visited schools, there was food and drink and the room was gorgeous. It was too bad that no one came.

Spring is finally coming to Wisconsin so everyone was outside. No one was in the library on a beautiful, sunny day, and I don’t blame them. If I was in middle school I doubt I’d want to come sit and listen to someone read a book when I could be outside running around.

Needless to say I was upset. Being a new author is difficult in a world filled with other distractions and writers that people already know. This event showed me that no matter how hard I work or plan, sometimes people are going to say no, and that’s hard. It was frustrating sitting in a large, empty room drinking lemonade with my two friends that came to support me. I was glad that they came, but I need people I don’t know to come and be interested in the book. I was hoping to see some teens and talk with them about writing and answer their questions. It was upsetting.

Alicia said something surprising that day too. She said: “Don’t be discouraged. I hope this won’t make you stop writing.” Honestly, that was the farthest thing on my mind. I know that last Thursday was frustrating and sad and awful, but there is no way I am going to stop! This is the first book. The first book comes with issues like this. It is the trial run for books to come and I will learn from these mistakes and do better to get people interested. I know Alicia also wants me to get an agent, but I have tried that. Getting an agent is not simple, as all authors know, and I am fine with self-publishing. I do want representation in the future, but for now I like learning things on my own. It is challenging and hard, but I get to interact with people on my own terms instead of having to go places because it would be good press. Eventually in my life I want to have an agent. I want someone to help me get my books out to the people. For now, though, I am going to keep writing and keep pushing. One setback will not hold me down for long.


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