I have always figured I would write a blog post about sending out the first queries and getting the first rejection, and lo and behold, here it is!
Sending out a query letter is a lot like sending out a resume. An enormous amount of work goes into each one, personalizing it to the individual agent and submitting according to the specific instructions of the agency. Each place is a little bit different. I’d spent several hours doing preliminary research to create the list I currently have, complete with ratings on who might be my top choices.
That task completed and finalization of my query brought me to the realization that I was ready to start sending the queries out. Last night I sent out a whole TWO. Haha! Baby steps. Plus, it just takes that much time doing the final, extra research on the individual agents to make sure I am sure that what I have is what they might be looking for and that who they are and what they have done is what I am hoping for.
It took slightly less courage to hit “send” than I thought… but some of the nerves hit about 30 minutes later. And when I discovered that one of the agents might be one who responds super quickly –as in the next day – I was both more nervous and also excited. Better to get the first rejection out of the way as soon as possible, right? It is easier to forge on ahead after that first disappointment comes through.
And sure enough, by 9:00am this morning I was able to post to the world, “First rejection? CHECK!”
Was it easy? No it was not.
But here are some things I know:
I know it would not have been at all realistic to assume the first query I sent out would result in a request for pages. I’m pretty sure I would have been completely shocked if it had.
I know that my word count for my manuscript is a huge obstacle. I know that this could truly make my journey incredibly long and difficult.
I know that my confidence and my optimism will take a great many hits in the coming weeks…. months.
I know that optimism is a part of my nature, and it will always bounce back.
I know that my query letter is strong, but I also know that depending on how things go, I might find that it is not strong enough.
I know that I have a good story, strong characters, and strong writing to show in my sample pages.
I know that rejection is not personal. I think I know that I’m going to get a lot of them.
I know that I am pretty well educated on what to expect throughout this whole process. I am not entering into it blindly.
I know that positive, encouraging, sincere words from friends and family mean a great deal. I have received phenomenal support in ways that have surprised me over the course of the past 18 months.
Most importantly, I know that by tomorrow – or sooner, this first rejection will feel like the insignificant thing that it truly is. But until then, I know that I will be honest and say that it still made me feel sad.
And so, how about some All American Rejects? Haha!