On June 17, I sent out my first batch of query letters for agents. At long last, the time had come for me to step onto the path that is my query quest. Truth be told, I was pretty excited. Though I knew this batch would most likely result in nothing but rejection letters in my inbox, I felt like I had finally taken a significant step towards my dream.
A week later, an email pops up in my inbox, and there it is. My first rejection letter.
I didn’t have to read the full thing, let alone open the email. I saw it in the preview message. I saw the word “unfortunately” and immediately knew.
“Here it comes,” I thought, “The tears. The voice of imposter syndrome. The disappointment in myself. The doubt. The fear. Any minute now…”
But, nothing. I didn’t feel any of that. At least, not on the scale I expected. Of course, I felt Disappointment pinching me and Doubt snickering at me. Still, it didn’t tear me down the way I thought it would.
After a few hours, I did finally open the email. Once again, I expected my phone to scream at me like a howler, but no. In fact, the tone of the letter was actually quite kind. I felt this agent’s best wishes for my publication journey were genuine.
In a way, I felt at peace. For one thing, at least now I know for sure this person did not want to represent my work, and that’s okay.
Most importantly, I am now reassured that I have the skin for publication. It is said over and over that if you cannot handle rejection, perhaps you should not publish. I’ve faced rejection before, but not from an agent. The fact that I handled this first rejection fairly well gives me confidence that I’ll be able to stick with this awfully long road.
Funny enough, I’m looking forward to printing out this rejection letter. I hope one day to make a collage of all my rejection letters, with the one on top being the letter that changes my life forever.