When your friend of twenty years is a part of an amazing team of individuals that wins an Emmy, you are excited and throw a mini party in your head and dance to your favorite song. When your friend of five years (feels like twenty because you have traveled to multiple countries together and supported each other through some tough stuff) puts together a grant application for an amazing project to highlight her heritage and culture, you proofread the application and pray that she gets it because you can’t wait to see what phenomenal thing she comes up with. When you open your email and your first literary agent rejection is sitting in your inbox waiting for you, you read it and tear up. This is what has happened to my wonderful friends and me in the past week.
I have submitted exactly three query letters (emails) to literary agents (I am taking it slow). I whole-heartedly expected no response at all, but when this one came my heart jumped from excitement then landed in the pit of my stomach. Could I get a representation letter my first time out? Would it be a cold heartless computer generated rejection? I of course had no patience to continue the what-ifs, so I said a little prayer before I opened and quickly read the response.
Here it is:
Thank you so much for sending your materials for my review. I really enjoyed this and can see the potential in your writing.
Unfortunately, however, despite all that I liked, I didn’t quite fall in love with this as I had hoped, so I will not be offering representation at this time.
I am so sorry this didn’t work out for us, but I do wish you the very best on finding a great agent for your work.
And just like that my first rejection was received.
I was ok at first. Then after reading it four more times that tiny little voice inside my head said, “See, your writing is not good enough.”
That little voice does not pop up often for me, but when it does, it is just as bold as I am. I decided to sit in my house, fake depressed, watching bad indie films on Netflix.
And then I got a text from my phenomenal Emmy winning friend…
“So it finally happened. We won an Emmy.”
I kid you not I screamed and jumped and almost lost my mind.
You see every time his team was nominated and lost, I told my friend that he would most certainly win an Emmy and that WHEN he did I was throwing him a party (hopefully next weekend). I knew that he (along with the team) would work hard and put their best foot forward and that all of that hard work would pay off and they would be rewarded. HE would be rewarded. And now here is all of that hard work paying off in the form of a pretty gold lady.
During our conversation it hit me that success is just a bunch of failures piling up on top of each other. This means I am well on my way to my first writing success. I have finally been officially rejected and believe it or not I feel good.
So, here is to Emmys being won (congrats Luis!), grants being granted (go Aimee!) and three more query letters.