I’ve had to process my latest rejection for a few days. The request was loaded with enthusiasm on the agent’s part (she ended up requesting a full manuscript and then later three chapters of two other novels)and lots of hope on mine. I was disappointed. Really disappointed. I’m approaching the bottom of my agent list, and the anxiety is starting to build. But, all that said, this rejection was right.
This agent told me she was torn, that my writing was strong and my voice well developed. She just wasn’t in love, which she needed to be to represent my work. She has no doubt I have a writing career ahead of me and asked me to be in touch in the future. One line in particular has stuck with me (and don’t tell me you don’t memorize your agent letters like a love-sick middle schooler too!): “Please, please don’t be discouraged. I meant it when I said your writing is strong.”
I immediately emailed those faithful friends who never seem to tire of my emails (A request! A rejection! Another request! One more rejection!). Thank you, those of you who read here. Your support through this very slow, unglamorous process has kept me going. My agented friend reminded me I need someone who loves my work, not someone who just thinks she can sell it. She’s right. That’s exactly what the rejection said, really.
I sent a thank you to the agent, weird as that sounds. She is professional, prompt, and incredibly kind. I’m thankful she took the time to read and respond in a way she didn’t have to. She’s extended me hope in a place where hope stretches thin. Someday I’ll be in touch. I have to believe it.