I’ve decided I’ve done all I can with Hope. I’m driving myself crazy trying to make it perfect and at this point I’m afraid I may be making things worse instead of better, so after a couple of weeks of self-cajoling I have started querying agents. Tally three weeks in: 10 queries sent, 5 responses received—all rejections. Not uncommon. Small potatoes. Many authors have dozens—hundreds!—of rejections before they stumble on the right agent. I’m in good company: https://www.buzzfeed.com/stmartinspress/20-brilliant-authors-whose-work-was-initially-reje-7rut
But, oh those rejections are so soul-wrenching! Some are terse (“not for me”). Others, though probably a form letter, are more encouraging (“keep your chin up and keep swinging!”), but every one of them chips away at my confidence. Authors have to have thick skins for sure, but I think all of us have confidence crises on a regular basis—rejections only serve to reinforce our belief that we are hopeless hacks. Who am I to think I can compete? What is so wrong with my novel that no one wants it?
In moments of clarity, I understand it’s a highly subjective business. Agents have to love the story AND feel like it’s marketable before they’re willing to take a chance. I get that. But it doesn’t hurt any less.
And then I think, What will I do if I don’t write?
Back on your feet, girl, and grow a spine. You’re just getting started!