Thursday, 29 August 2013

It's all part of the process. My first rejection.

Excuse the bizarre video, but this is the song in my head today.
So for the last week I have been feeling downright weird. Wired. Unsettled. Because I arrived back from my 3 week holiday, passed through my novel twice, the last read being an intense proof read, and submitted to the first six agents on my list. When I was at the stage where I was changing a word and then changing back again, I didn't linger over it. I'd already done my agent research so it was all ready to go.

As I pressed the send button I thought I'd be relieved or a bit empty, or maybe proud of myself and elated. Instead I felt as if the last 10 months have never happened and that I'd never written a book. I was in no-mans land. I drank too much three nights in a row and was pretty grouchy on the days in between. I worked on my next novel half-heartedly and researched pointless (but therapeutic) things like other peoples rejection letters and average times it takes agents to respond. I tried to limit my inbox checking and failed.

And now I have my first response. Stock rejection. From a huge agent. Used my name rather than Dear Author, but that's the only hint at personalisation. Sent from the submissions team rather than the named agent to which I addressed my (meticulously researched and checked) submission letter.

I wont be disingenuous here, rejection does feel a little brutal. The thousand or more hours you put in were not appreciated by whoever read it. I feel it's unlikely my precious even got past the agents readers. The film might not be in cinemas next year...

But it doesn't feel as brutal as I thought it might. I feel real. A real writer, who wrote a real novel must receive at least one, and probably a lot more than one, real rejections.

So I'm not sorry for myself really. I'm a real rejected writer. Before this I was in a bubble of daydreams, now I'm part of a real professional process.

I'm absolutely fine about being a reject. Just a co-incidence that when I picked up my guitar this evening I didn't turn on the lights and started playing Everybody Hurts by REM.

And onwards.

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