A few months ago I sent off my first query letter and few pages of my book manuscript to a literary agent. A couple of weeks ago I got my first rejection letter. Kind of a rite of passage for me, feels like I'm more officially a writer than just a wanna-be one.
It was actually a very kind rejection, not completely a form letter. I'm certain this was because I attended a writers conference at BYU two years ago and was guaranteed that my letter would get on a certain agent's desk for a read-through if I sent it to him within a year of the conference. So I did. And when I didn't hear back from him by the end of 6 weeks I knew that the rejection letter was coming, addressed in my own handwriting, a SASE being a requirement for submission. I was joking with my sister over the summer that I should have written a few words of encouragement to myself on the back of the envelope, "it's okay Paige! Try, try again!" But the agent's letter didn't at all make me feel like I should give up.
He said, "you definitely have a lot to work with, and I'm sure the story will be very exciting...Currently I am taking on very few new clients unless it is something I truly fall in love with. With that being said I hope someone will become enamored with your story and give it the time and attention it deserves."
And now to keep trying. Though I do need to polish my manuscript some more before I send it off to the wolves. I started writing this book a year ago for the NaNoWriMo challenge, something I've enjoyed doing for the past couple of years but that I knew I didn't have the stamina to get through this month. I've missed it, but I'm so brainless right now and often exhausted by the end of the week, I just had to let it go this year. Also, having done this twice, I have two manuscripts that I want to finish before I start another one. These characters are living in my head and I really like them so I want to finish their stories.
I'll have to keep a tally on the sidebar when I start sending out my work again, see how many rejection letters I accumulate before I can convince someone to work with me.