“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it…Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” ~ Mark Jenkins
It was bound to happen sooner rather than later.
Thank you so much for your interest in XYZ Agency! We feel sure that your work has merit and potential, but unfortunately we don’t see a fit for any of our projects at this time.
All the best of luck with your writing future,
The XYZ Staff
I changed the name of the agency, of course, but unfortunately can’t change the rest of the letter into one of glowing approval, asking me how soon I can schedule a meeting – just name the time and place.
Nope. It was a rejection. And you know what? When I got the email, I smiled.
I smiled because this was my first rejection letter of what I’m sure will be many.
I smiled because no great writer has ever skipped through the publication process without rejection.
I smiled because although I tried and failed, I still tried.
I didn’t submit my full manuscript. This particular query was to a book packaging agency. Essentially, a book packaging agency already has book ideas, but is looking for writers to bring those ideas to life. They work with a chosen author to write, research and edit the work. Once it’s up to their satisfaction, they act as agents, submitting to book publishers until (fingers crossed) a deal is reached.
I submitted a 3,000-word sample of my best writing, along with a bio and resume, hoping to explore what would happen if I was chosen as one of those potential writers. If I would have been a fit for one of their upcoming projects, I would have gotten the nod.
I didn’t get the nod. But again, I was smiling.
I was smiling because I have no idea why I was not the right fit, so what’s the use in worrying about it?
I was smiling because friends and family have read my work, and don’t think I’m crazy for continuing.
I was smiling because I need to finish the entire first draft of my current novel, gosh darnit!
I’m 55,000 words in. Thanks to a busy holiday season and, more accurately, a bad case of writer’s block, I took a brief hiatus from my work in November. I’m happy to say I dove back in late last week, and have a lofty goal of completing the first draft by the end of January. This rejection, more than anything, has served as motivation to achieve this feat.
Though I am not moving forward with this particular agency, I am grateful that they inspired me to submit. I’ve gained experience in putting together a pitch letter, bio, resume and writing sample, invaluable practice that I can carry forward into my next query.
Even if these materials didn’t lead to success this time around, I firmly believe that someday, they will.
And when that day comes, you can bet I’ll still be smiling.