How Close Are You?

This past week I received the mother of all rejections. The Queen Mary.

It was the first rejection, in a long time, that really bummed me out.


Well, to be honest it wasn't because I happen to think this agent is so fabulous that I couldn't live without him/her. I mean, agents are just people. They put their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us.

No. The reason I was so bummed is because the rejection told me just how close I am. With words like "loved the voice" and "enjoyed the humor" and "you clearly have promise" how could I not get excited?

Then.....there was the final word: NO.

My heart sank. What? Why? What happened?

For two days I dwelt on the negative. I felt sorry for myself. I vowed that I was done with the process of getting published.

But thanks to my awesome crit group and my amazing online writing community I was reminded of the positive remarks in the email. Love. Enjoy. Potential. Those are some pretty strong words. With the help of my wonderful support system I realized that I'm close. Really close.

So, I could let the rejection get me down. I could stop writing. I could give up right now and be done with all of it.

What a waste that would be!

Instead I choose to focus on the positive. I remind myself that if someone who was passing could say such positive things, it really is just a matter of time before the right person sees my potential and says the one word I've been waiting to hear.


So, how close are you? Have you had feedback that makes you scream with excitement? Or cry with despair? What makes you press forward?


Christine Danek said…
I've had both. I'm getting better with feedback. I'm not querying yet, I'm just dealing with revision stuff. I did have an editor look at my stuff at a time when I was thinking maybe I should let it go. She liked my idea and gave me ways to improve, which tickled me pink. So that ignited the drive once again.
You will get there. I know it.
Have a great day!!
Talei said…
Love. Enjoy. Potential. - You are so right Amie!! I think you've got the right idea here - focusing on the positive. A great reminder to all of us here. I'm still plugging away at my WIP but getting there. I am wary of the highs and lows that will come with the querying when I eventually get to that point in the road. For now though I'm learning good lessons from lovely positive blogging ladies such as yourself! Thank you for sharing your experience here. And YES must be very close by!! ;)
I recently received feedback from an agent on my first ten pages. She thought it was decent BUT . . .

I read the one sentence feedback in the email and decided to put the project aside for a bit so I could work on my new wip. I couldn't get motivated to rewrite the first chapter yet AGAIN.

Two days later, I was running when all kinds of possiblities entered my oxgyen depleted brain as to what I can do with the beginning. So despite my original plan of ignoring it for the next 6 weeks, I'm going to go over ALL her feedback, delete the old first chapter (chapter 2 will now be chapter 1). ;)

Of course this will require massive rewrites because I'm deleting a lot of important info. But I think I can definitely make it work . . . at least I hope I can.
Yep...THAT close. And yea, I have wallowed for a bit too. And yea, I have had to pull myself back up and move forward. Some days its easier than others. Thanks for your post on this!
Piedmont Writer said…
Yes, screaming with excitement and then denial -- Well, if it's so close, why can't you take me on and I'll fix it-- denial.

But it is heartening to know you are almost there. Keep on swimming.
Tania McCue said…
Gosh I've missed so much while hiding under my rock.

While I have to say I am sorry about the rejection, I am so happy to see that they saw potential in your work, but even more, that you are able to put yourself in a positive space! I haven't even started the query process and am exhausted. I think keeping a positive attitude and working hard are going to take you so far! Plus, we all already know that you are so talented :) You are definitely getting there!
Meredith said…
I hate those rejections--but you're right to focus on the positive. You're so close, and that's a good thing! Good luck.
Colene Murphy said…
Good for you! Even getting that far is amazing! Complimented by someone like that is supposed to be a big thing, as most have standard rejection letters so Go you!!
Anonymous said…
Bummer on the "no," but bravo to you for focusing on all the good things the agent said! If anything, your MS is stronger for all the work you put into it.

Yeah, so the last time I queried I got like ZERO interest--no responses, just static, like I didn't exist. Pretty hurtful. I got so pissed off I almost quit.

Thankfully I didn't. I decided to really figure out what the hell I was doing wrong. And I did. I learned a LOT.

But now that I'm getting close to querying, I find reasons to put it off. I hesitate. What if I keep getting static, even after all this work???? Eeep!!!!!! I can't stand it, LOL!

Gotta jump back in the game some time, though, right? RIGHT???

Jennifer Shirk said…
UGH, Amie, you are SO close. That is the Queen Mother of rejections but also encouraging. It's a matter of time now.
Sara B. Larson said…
Oh my yes, I've had SO many of those, I really began to hate the word "enough" (I love it, but just not ENOUGH, etc). But yes, it means you are close and don't give up! It's better than a form rejection for sure, it meant you merited personal attention. :)
Donna Hosie said…
I feel your pain. I got the same kind of brilliant rejection letter last week, but then the next day I had two requests for more. You are so so close - don't give up.
WritersBlockNZ said…
That's a pretty awesome rejection, even if it was a no. Hopefully it means you'll get a "yes" real soon! There's a blog award waiting for you on my site:
Amie Kaufman said…
So close! I think both your responses are appropriate. I think it's not only fine but called for to let yourself feel down when you're that close and don't quite get what you're after. I think ice cream should be involved, preferably by the pint. And after that, you've done exactly the right thing and picked yourself back up again. Loved! Enjoyed! You're so close to getting the call.
Kelly said…
It's natural to feel disappointed but I'm so glad you can see the positive. Because if an agent or editor cares enough to make any comments, you ARE almost there!
I had a picture book in consideration at a house from the slush pile and I was SO excited, but ultimately it was no. I was SO upset, but I knew I was that much closer to publication if it was even considered from the slush.
Good luck!
I'm glad you could find the light in the situation. I'm not that close because I've not started querying again yet, but I'm hopeful that this book is going to be a good one. I just have a feeling :)Good luck!
Sorry about the rejection. What an awesome rejection though.

I have just started to send out my MS and have had a few "not the right fit" rejections. But hey at least they wern't "you suck" rejections. :)

My editor and readers love the story and the query rocks so i am sure it will find a home sometime. :)
I will probably be able to feel the pains of this process for the rest of my life since I was doing the subbing and getting more hopeful rejections for about 15 years, had 3 books published, then I had another 8 years of subbing and getting hopeful, but no rejections.

It IS hard. Sometimes I screamed, sometimes I cried, sometimes I was numb. How did I press forward? I often ask myself that and the only real answer is that I loved to write, I wanted to write and publish and have a career. I WANTED IT BAD. ;-)
Bethany said…
Aw - bummer, Amie! Hang in there! The key word is patience :) I know it's difficult to have - but the wait will be worth it!
Anonymous said…
I've received the pluses, minuses, and negatives. My instinct told me I'd hear a yes some day.
Ouf. I know you feel. This happened to me on my MG novel. The r also came back with 2 pages of editorial notes. Ouf. From one of the top agents in the US. ouf. ouf. ouf. I've just started to query again and OUF.
I think the agent's response sounds incredibly encouraging. You're right to look at it as a positive. Hang in there!

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