Expecting rejection isn’t defeatist, it’s understanding the reality of the industry. Literary agents may like your story, but they need to love it; to obsess over your characters and plots; to have an editorial vision for it. Agents can’t (or at least, don’t want to) pitch projects to editors without having a deep-rooted belief in the story.
Author: Katarina Betterton
Congratulations! You’ve written your first draft, put it out of your mind for a few weeks (or months) and are prepared to dive back into edits. You’ve got your colored pens or highlighters at the ready; your characters eagerly await your return. But where to start?
My first five tips, Embrace Being a Newbie, Be 100% Certain You’re Ready to Query, Celebrate Rejections, Do Not Give Up, and Be Professional all dealt with the process itself. The final five tips, however, really focus on self-reflection. After all, writing can be a very lonely process and it’s important to know yourself and what you want out of your career before taking this next step!
On July 25, 2019, I sent my first-ever query for the first book I’d ever written. I was positive it would sign in a heartbeat. Five months later, I received the 22nd rejection on that book and shelved the project. Less than half a year of querying doesn’t seem long—and in the grand scheme of a writing journey it’s merely a blip—but it was more than enough time to learn valuable lessons I needed to advance my writing career.