Here is what I received yesterday via email:“Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, we do not feel it is right for us.”
No beautiful penmanship on linen paper that outlined the issues with my manuscript. Just a short blurb in my Inbox. I suppose in this digital age one should expect a certain lack of personal touch, and I know I shouldn’t take it, well, personally. Nevertheless, it stings when I get one of these. All my self-doubts creep to the front of my brain, and I want to stay in bed and pretend that I never decided to pursue writing. I think of those oh so happy times when all I had to worry about was raising two kids, managing a house and business, cooking, cleaning, running errands, balancing budgets. I mourn for those simple times!
I have given this a lot of thought, because, as I’m sure you authors out there have experienced, I have to do a fair bit of soul searching every time I get a rejection. I have to decide if all of that heartache is worth it. What are those rejections saying anyway? That I'm a terrible writer? That I should give up? Okay, I am being a bit melodramatic. The fact remains that no matter how many rejections I get, I love writing and whether that writing is published or not doesn't make a difference in how I feel about the process of writing. I guess it takes a certain amount of tenaciousness to be a published author. Try and try again, right?
One final thought. After a semi-decent night of sleep, I am feeling a little more sympathy for all you agents out there. You are most likely plagued by an overload of submissions thanks to that same old technology that plagues my Inbox. All an author has to do these days is simply “cut and paste”. No paper, no postage. They, like me, probably think, “Why not? What do I have to lose?” If we can simply press send, then you should have the right (and of course you do) to simply say “no thanks” by pressing send. At least my rejection email didn’t say, “Thank-you, but the quality of your work is not up to par.” It didn’t say “Thank-you, but your plot is stupid and no one will ever want to read it.” It was simply an email saying, “we do not feel it is right for us.” Okay. Whew! I feel better.