Rejection is something that comes up a lot in writing. Whether you're submitting to agents, or even just finally opening to your family and friends about why you've been locked away in a darkened room for months on end, rejection is something we writers inherently fear. And with good reason - we pour so much of ourselves into our work that it can be terrifying to think that someone may not love it as much as we do. We can't bear the thought of our novel being rejected, because it feels like a part of ourselves is being rejected at the same time (which isn't true, but you can understand why authors think like that).
I have a confession to make. Do you want to know how many times I submitted Synthetica to agents? I'll tell you. The grand total was...twice.
Yup, you read that right. I submitted it to two agents, and it got rejected both times. Contrary to my advice yesterday about not quitting, I did indeed give up submitting to agents.
But why? I hear you cry. Why did you up give up submitting? Well, here's the thing - when I completed Synthetica, I was in a very dark place emotionally and trust me, receiving 100+ rejections would not have done anything to improve my mental state. I simply couldn't bring myself to do it. That, and I'd kind of already made up my mind to give self-publishing a go.
Here's what both agents said to me when they rejected Synthetica:
I don't know much about standard rejection letters but the second rejection letter, strangely, gave me hope. Perhaps if I'd taken my own advice and kept persevering, I would've landed an agent in the end.
But you know what? I'm happy with my decision to give indie publishing a go. It's hard work, but I wouldn't have meet all the wonderful people I have if I'd simply gone down the traditional publishing route. I still hope to be a traditionally published author one day, but for now, I'm having a blast being an indie author. And if my voyage into indie publishing fails miserably, I know I can always start submitting to agents again.
So don't worry if your work is rejected numerous times - just remember J.K. Rowling and the rejections she faced. And if you're really not getting anywhere by submitting to agents, remember that indie publishing is a completely viable (and highly recommended!) option too :).
Have you ever been rejected by an agent? How did you deal with it? How do you deal with other types of rejection in your writing?