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.