This week, I received my very first rejection from an agent. The email was brief and politely worded, but a rejection all the same. I had expected to feel somewhat disheartened and upset, but oddly enough I didn’t. I can’t lie to you; it stung; I would have much rather read a glowing email begging me to send them my full manuscript, but I certainly wasn’t upset to learn that it was the opposite. I was, in fact, relieved.
This may sound strange, but I very quickly found myself at peace with their decision and could move on; it’s one agency to cross off my list, one less email to obsessively check for but, more than that, it’s the realisation that the inevitable had occurred and I am OK. I have not died, my arms haven’t fallen off and my ambition is still, gloriously, intact. I understood in a second that rejection was both unavoidable and easy to overcome; it has probably made me more determined than ever. That agent wasn’t for me; but eventually I will find one who is. It just takes work and perseverance; that’s all.
I am reminded of my two favourite rejection stories; J.K Rowling and Stephen King. Harry Potter was rejected left, right and centre until it was finally published and Rowling got to live out her dream as a published author, which was her aim way before riches and success knocked at her door. And, as for Stephen King; Carrie was rejected thirty times before it was eventually taken on and what did he do with all those rejection letters? He stuck them to his study wall with a spike and kept on writing.
Everyone, it would seem, suffers rejection at some point; you learn to pick yourself up and carry on, to try harder and make yourself better and, above all, it teaches you how important your dream is by testing your resolve.
I am pleased to report that my resolve is stronger than ever and my skin, perhaps, a little thicker.
Yesterday I submitted my novel to a selection of agencies in the hope that one of them may represent me. Very exciting, very nerve wracking.
Today, I was intending on writing a blog post on how I came to write the book in the first place. But that was before my email was hacked.
Earlier I received an email and (rather stupidly) I opened it, even when a tiny voice inside my head told me that I should not. I should have listened to that voice. Instead, my account was hacked. The hackers gained access to my entire contact list and sent them all an email with a similar virus from my account. That contact list included all the agents that I submitted my novel to yesterday.
Presumably all of those agents have now received said virus from my account.
Do these agents now think I am a hacking scammer eager to tap into their email contacts and spread my cheeky virus? Or are they totally understanding and accept that it was an honest mistake and that it has no bearings at all on my talents as a writer? Or, better yet, do they all have a wonderfully tech savvy email system which wheedled said email virus out from their inbox before they could even register its existence?
I hope the latter. I will go to sleep tonight praying for the latter.
I also hope they have not tagged my email address as spam.
I won’t find out until I contact them tomorrow, all five of them.
Until then, at least there is my ice cold gin and tonic; I’m going to need it tonight. This is not, however, because I’m stressed about some hackers trying to steal my identity. Oh no; I’ve got a gin and tonic in my hand to celebrate the fact that I have finished my book and that I have mustered up the courage to send it to agents, which is a very scary thing to do.
So there, horrible hackers. You may steal my email contact list but you will never steal my self-congratulatory buzz! I am tonight very proud of myself, whatever the agents think of my work and whatever the internet criminals may try and do to me.
Cheers and goodnight.