Tuesday, June 28, 2011


“You don’t know what you are talking about!” That’s a comment that came up in a discussion today, when having to answer why I haven’t gotten a request for more material. This heated discussion came up after receiving a rejection letter that simply said “Pass.”

The person, who shall remain nameless, could not have chosen a worse time to start spreading seeds of doubt in my head. I already feel as if I have no writing talent and then he even says that my work is terrible. That my grammar is totally wrong and from a writers point of view I don’t know what I am talking about.

Wouldn’t you feel bad if most agents don’t even bother to send you a rejection letter, they just ignore you? Or if they do they just give you one word, “Pass?” I mean you would feel crappy too right?

I can take constructive criticism, but someone constantly telling you everything you are doing is wrong or that you’re not talented enough to be a writer is heartbreaking. I think there is a difference between tougher skin and being emotionally numb. I am leaning more towards the numb feeling today.

Am I naïve to believe that finding a literary agent is possible? Is it really all just about luck? I hope not because I have the worst luck ever. I feel like a complete hypocrite because I always believe in other writers potential and I always encourage others to keep going. After a month of mostly silence and only 2 rejections out of 15, I am starting to think maybe I don’t have what it takes. Maybe the person above is right and I don’t have a drop of talent and is just too blind to see it.


  1. I'm so sorry someone made you feel that way.

    Receiving a rejection letter of any kind (especially a one word kind) is a disheartening, miserable experience. Knowing that it happens to everyone doesn't help. It still makes you feel like crap. I know because I have enough rejection slips (one a post-it note littered with some really bad grammar) to wallpaper my office several times over.

    I've also had people who don't understand the entire finding an agent/publishing process make me question whether I should be doing this at all. It's an equally disheartening feelings.

    But I keep writing because the fact remains that it's still the only thing I want to do. Even if I'm the only one who reads what I write.

    Chin up and hang in there. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

  2. Nope. Don't you believe that for a moment! It took 3 months for a friend of mine to hear back from the majority of the agents she subbed to. At least half of them were curt to the point of rudeness. But one finally picked her up... I think that was after about 6 months. Rejection is rubbish, especially when dealt so crudely. But believe in your own work and keep on at it - you'll get there!

  3. Whatever the quality of your writing or your ability to find an agent one thing I'm certain of is that what you're feeling ritght now is perfectly normal part of the process of being a writer and something everyone feels at some point. It's horrible and debilitating but necessary. You have to experience it. And the thing that tells you if you are a writer isn't what other people decide, it's whether you carry on or not. If you stop writing,then they were right. If you keep going, then they were wrong. It's entirely up to you, not them.


  4. Hmm. I really hope you sent that person to hell.

    Besides that, all that I can say is that you have to keep going. If your heart is set on getting an agent, don't give up.

  5. What you're feeling is normal but don't let grab hold of you.
    Remember you aren't the only querying those agents and they have other clients.
    Just keep writing!

  6. I think there are a lot of writers and relatively few agents. In the US, the job market it horrendous even for normal jobs. Anyone out of work now even with a high level of skill will be waiting months, more likely years for a job - nothing personal, there just aren't a lot of jobs but are a lot of people trying to get them. I think the writing market is like that - too many new writers, not enough publishers. You just have to persevere, keep writing, and not give up. (That said, I haven't had the courage yet to query anyone...but I will.)

  7. You know, the whole agent process is completely disheartening. Then you read published stuff that you have no idea how it got published, and you're just like I don't suck this much. IDK. I hate the whole process. And finding an agent is a lot of LUCK. (I have horrid luck too). But I think if you keep trying eventually you'll get there. I have to believe this. It's the only way I can deal with it.

  8. Rejection is hard, but the one word "pass" seems especially harsh.

    You need to believe in yourself and your writing, and keep going!

  9. M.J. - Very true, thank you. It is so easy for other people who don't understand how the whole query thing works to make us feel like failures, but you are absolutely right. I love writing and if I am the only one who will ever read it then so be it. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Laura - Thank you so much for the kind words of inspiration. You are very right about me having to believe in myself. I am definitely going to work on it.

    Mooderino - Thank you so much for the reality check. I needed it. I can't imagine not writing.

    Misha - Thank you for cheering me up. I most certainly did have a few things to say to that person. The blogging world is so much kinder and more supportive than I could ever have imagined. I have had many comments telling me not to quit and you guys pull me through tough times like these. Thank you.

    Mary - Thanks, you guys really inspire me to keep going and trying no matter how crappy I feel.

    Tonja - Thank you for always having something encouraging to say. I hope you start querying soon too.

    Beth - Thank you so much for the nice words. I love your positive attitude. I guess the only way to get a result is to keep going.

    Carol - Thank you Carol. I know I have to start believing in myself if I want an agent to believe in me as well. I will definitely work on it. I will try my best to keep going and not lose focus. Thank you for the great words of encouragement.


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