First Rejection

As I mentioned in my first post I have written a novel entitled The Gisburn Witch. In the last couple of weeks I have been submitting my novel (or at least the first three chapters of it) to literary agents. Preparing your work for submission is no mean feat, and after putting together a tightly edited set of chapters, a synopsis (such an innocent word but my goodness, what a headache) and a covering letter, off my work went, out into the critical ether, so to speak!

Most agents seem to advise that it will be somewhere in the region of 4 to 6 weeks and sometimes longer before they reply to you, so I knew that I was in for a wait. Nonetheless I felt instantly nervous about what I had done: I am immensely proud of my work, of course, but knowing that someone else, a total stranger in fact, is scrutinising it…that’s terrifying stuff for any writer, I think. I suppose it’s because in many ways your book, its characters, its plot and the way you write them are like fragments of you; your inner thoughts, the way your mind works…it’s all there on paper, really. So when someone else is looking over them, for me it’s like they are peering into your creative soul. But anyway, I digress…

So, on Tuesday I received my first rejection by email. Now, I pride myself on being a realist – I keep my dreams for my novels. Nevertheless, I was unsure exactly how I would react to the inevitable rejection letter. I say inevitable because even bestsellers were rejected by agents at some point or another. I knew rejection would come; I expected it, but I wasn’t sure I’d be happy about it. After all, this is my work, my heart, my soul, my stress and sweat over the last twelve months at least. Maybe, for all that I expected the rejection, maybe it would still make me cross, and obstinate. I’m very good at cross and obstinate. As it happened, I surprised myself by being quite philosophical. The tone of the reply was pleasant, friendly and encouraging. This isn’t for us, it said, but it might be that it’s for someone else, so keep trying. And I will. Onwards and upwards!

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