(Note: This is a four-part blog series in which I summarize the things I learned while writing, revising and editing, submitting and letting go of ‘The One’.)
Roughly a year and half has passed since I started querying. I had several full requests and even more partial requests. All, sadly, ended in rejection.
Everyone says not to give up. It’ll happen for you. It’s all about connecting with the right agent. They’re right, to a certain extent, but sometimes you have to put your manuscript down.
That was the hardest thing I’ve had to accept. I found myself with literally no more agents left to query. This was my baby, The One, and it just wasn’t good enough.
It’s so easy to get discouraged at this point, especially when you’re letting go of something you spent so much time on. I’ll admit, I let it get me down. But in the midst of my disappointment, I realized that I reached a point many never see. I wrote a book. I edited it until it become something totally different. I put my work out there for professionals to see. I was on the phone with a literary agent for almost an hour.
I was down, but not defeated.
I have since put my baby in a drawer. Now I’ve gone back to the original project I was working on before all this stared. I’ve learned and accomplished so much since then. The experience on a whole was sad, but I wouldn’t change it. It made my writing stronger and, on some level, improved me as a person. I learned to handle rejection with grace and criticism with an open mind. I have no doubt that I’ll learn new things as I wade through the process with this new/old WIP, but the old lessons are making everything so much easier.
I haven’t given up on my baby, but she is no longer ‘The One’.
Sometimes, you have to let go, but you don’t have to give up. Gather your lessons, your experiences, sew them into a protective cloak and begin again.