Facing Fears: Rejection

I got my first rejection Sunday, which was nice. I know that might sound weird, but I was really looking forward to the first rejection. I wanted to know how I would react. Overall, I was impressed by how quickly the agent replied and how kind of a rejection letter it was. I thought I would be upset, perhaps even really devastated, but I wasn’t. I won’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed, but it was just a dull pang for a moment then it was gone. Like when I was applying for a job but only submitted a resume, then received an e-mail saying that they were going for different candidates. It was a bit disappointing but I was over it in a couple minutes.

I’m not really surprised by this, I didn’t think I would be too emotionally distraught. I’m aware that the publishing industry is a business and this is just part of the process. Maybe when there are less agents on my list it’ll be more upsetting. It’ll probably be different if I get a rejection on the partial I sent out, too. But I’d rather face a fear than wonder what if?

Source: Wikimedia.org

I actually like being scared. I’ve had an irrational fear of sharks since I was a little girl. Extremely irrational, even, since I grew up in a land locked state. Though, I did spend my summers between Louisiana and Florida so I did go to the beach. In order to get over that, I decided when I was in Australia to go snorkeling with some reef sharks. Of course, those rarely bit or attack people so it wasn’t dangerous but I did get over it. Now I’d like to go to South Africa sometime in the near future to see some Great Whites (don’t worry, I know better than to try and swim with them).

So, even though I worry (fear, really) getting to the end of my literary agent list and seeing nothing but “rejected” next to each name… I’d rather let that fear inspire me to write the best story I can and keep trying instead of giving up. On a related note, I came up with an idea for a YA that deals with fearful things (aka horror). I’ve completed a synopsis for it and might try to do that during NaNoWriMo — either the November or August one.

Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

I’m not particularly superstitious or anything like that, but I did love the movies. When it came down to the battle between Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elmstreet, and Halloween, Jason always won. I would always marathon all those movies depending on the time of the year when I was a kid. My mom never wanted me to, because I had a tendency to be completely freaked out for weeks. For ages I was scared that Michael from Halloween was going to be in my closet with a knife, but I couldn’t sleep if my closet door was closed (I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things — still is even).

I never really had fears of Jason. I imagine I would if I ever went camping and/or went to camp as a kid but I don’t get camping. Why pretend like you don’t have AC when you do? And God forbid I have to deal with bugs. I hate bugs. I only got into hiking and whatnot when I was in my late teens, even then I’d rather just keeping hiking until I got to a hostel. There was really nothing to do when it came to Freddy, other than not sleeping and I never did that.

For whatever reason, when I realized this Friday was the 13th, I decided it’d be the perfect time to start querying wider. I just like the idea of really kicking off the submission process properly on today. It helps that I’ve got everything in order now. Though, I’ve had it in order for a while now… but just a little too nervous to finally do it.

Except, of course, I made a mistake when I sent a query to one literary agent (I put the wrong name! What a silly mistake!) but I just resent it with the proper one and hope that’ll do.

That’s that, I suppose. I’ve started the query process. It’s really finally happening. I get the feeling I’ll be very flexible by the end of all this. I’ve decided that I need something to do after each rejection, something that helps me process it and move on, and it’s yoga. I’ve been doing it for a while, but not with any real conviction. Now I’ll have no other choice.

Query Shark

220+ queries later and I’m finally finished reading all of QueryShark’s archives (queryshark.blogspot.com). I was taking notes the entire time, weirdly enough I was hand writing them which I haven’t done since sophomore year in college. After I go a netbook, I started to type everything up.

The last time I checked, I had horribly handwriting but surprisingly enough I can read everything I wrote. I guess I probably write clearer when I don’t feel the pressure of time like I did in college.

Anyway, QueryShark was an amazing asset that I’m very glad I came across. Janet Reid is the agent that takes the time to update the blog to show writer’s what an agent thinks when she’s reading through a query. It’s amazing to me that she has the time to do that on top of being a popular and successful agent.

A third of the things that she pointed out was what I already considered common sense. How she had the patience to tell people time and time again not to add the agency’s address or your own to the top of an e-mail clear is beyond me. Or not to add the “TITLE is X words and a thriller/romance/whatever novel” part at the start of the query. But everything else was very enlightening and gave me a good checklist of what to do and what not to do in a query.