Sunday, 31 March 2013

Thickening the skin

I'm back on that terrifying rollercoaster that is submitting my novel to literary agents. I've had two rejections so far, and each one has been painful. Of course it has. I'm not going to lie about it - when you see an email from one of the agents you've sent your precious words to, there will always be a little thrill that hopes for a full request. After that, I assume it becomes a game of hovering over your phone, hoping and praying that the call will come...but I've not got that far yet.

All advice reminds writers not to take rejection personally, but that doesn't mean it's not disappointing. I know, this person hasn't met me (in most cases), they're not my friend or colleague, they're not judging me as a person. They're not even saying that my novel is terrible, just that it's not right for them. But rejection is rejection, however much you rationalise it, and it hurts.

I hope that as I go on, my skin will toughen up, because after each rejection I get a pang of despair. I feel like I'm rubbish and I should give up. Luckily, I have encouraging friends, and written feedback from professional editors that I can read to claw back some self-esteem. The drive to get published is strong enough to shine through the gloom, so I'll keep going!

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