Rejection is such a foul, nasty word. Rejection. It even tastes bad when you say it. I remember my first rejection when Brad What's-his-name turned me down to the movies in the 8th grade. Oh, I was heartbroken. I remember my first rejection letter to a college I applied to. I was devastated they didn't want me. I remember my first rejection email where I interviewed for my first real job. How could they not sense my fabulousness?
No one wants to be rejected, but it's a part of life. Sure it stings for a few moments, creates some self-doubt, and churns the emotions but we pick ourselves up and move on. We grow stronger. Smarter. Sassier. I didn't marry my eighth grade crush, go to my first choice college or get that first job, but life has a funny way of working out just the way it
should. I married my best friend, graduated with an MBA in Business Administration and Marketing, and I've had a fantastic professional career. Not bad for being rejected, right?
This past week I received my first rejection from an Agent. I’ll be honest. I was hesitant to open the email when it came through. Did she love it? Hate it? The rejection she wrote was so nice, but it was still an ego blow and a little emotional. After reading the email - oh 9 or 10 times - I appreciate the time she took in reading my book and providing feedback. I've decided to take her comments to heart and consider them carefully.
Was I disappointed she didn't want to sign me as a client and help me make gobs of money? Well, sure. Who wouldn't be? But I look at it this way - she is giving me the opportunity to improve my craft, grow as a writer, and push myself toward bigger and better things. This is a tough industry, and as a writer you have to be willing to do what it takes to make your book stand out.
In the writing world, rejection is common. That's not to say it makes me feel any better, but a major part of the process. This was my first book rejection, but it probably won't be my last either. I simply hope to look back at this first book rejection when I am a published author and know it was for the best.
Lisa Heartman writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels.