During the last several months I have been in contact with a literary agent whom expressed interest in my first novel after meeting at a conference. I like to compare these months since to a season of courting. Our first date was at the conference, second date was sending a full book proposal, third date was a lengthy phone call that resulted in her request of the full manuscript, and our fourth date included her request for me to fluff the book a little more in some specific areas. It seemed things were looking very promising. Soon, maybe we’d “go steady” — be exclusive and she’d sign me. (Pardon the cheesy analogy.)
However, this week I received a rejection email from that agent. I’m thankful she made the effort to give me some explanation. Though kind and respectful, the tone was very much the dreaded, “It’s not you, it’s me” message. The “You’re great, but…” still hurts. After all the time this agent and I spent going back and forth, the rejection is quite unexpected.
But, not all is lost. In fact, I can already see a lot of good that’s come out of this time.
First of all, I now have a finished book that’s all the more ready to be pitched to other agents and editors. The suggestions and guidance received from this agent during our “courting” has been vital and insightful.
Secondly, I now join ranks with countless other authors who’ve been rejected. I’ve earned my stripes, been to the trenches and back. It’s just part of the business of being a writer. If you write for publication, you’re going to experience rejection. Just today, I read sweet Ashley Clark’s post, Let’s Talk Rejection. She’s got some great insight on how to best deal with rejection.
Lastly, this experience brought with it a close moment with my Father God. As I read the unexpected rejection email from the agent, I sensed a palpable message being whispered over me. “Teresa, your worth does not change based on this one email.” God was there with me in that moment to hold my hand and envelop me with His comforting love. I’m not a different person than I was before that email. Nothing substantial changed. He still loves me. He still calls me to write. He’s still in control. And He still wants good for me.
At the end of the day, this one “no” is but a minuscule blip on the timeline of my life. Just because a “yes” would have felt monumental to my writing career, a “no” does not have to carry the equivalent weight.
How have you dealt with rejection in your life? When is a time you chose to let a rejection push you forward instead of back? How can I be praying for your next steps?
It’s Not You, It’s Me: Dealing with Unexpected Rejection — TWEET THIS!
“You’re great, but…” Rejection hurts, but doesn’t define you! — TWEET THIS!
“No” does not have to carry the negative equivalent weight of the celebrated “yes.” — TWEET THIS!