----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Dealing With Rejection

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dealing With Rejection

Even though I have signed with a literary agent, rejection from other agents still stings. When I started sending out query letters, I didn't realize just how long it would take for agents to respond (if they responded at all). So, today, I received a rejection letter from an agent that I queried back in February after meeting her at a writers' conference.

She wrote me a very nice personalized letter which said she enjoyed meeting me at the writers' conference and that my character's story "is a moving one, threaded with the right touch of humor and poignancy. Unfortunately, I wasn't as taken with the writing as I was hoping to be, and as I would need to be in order to represent this novel properly."

Look, I know that not everyone is going to love my work. Rejection is part of the process. The important this is that my current agent is excited about my manuscript. But rejection still hurts. And it makes me doubt myself and my writing. Another agent who rejected the manuscript said in her note that I was doing too much telling and not enough showing. She wrote, "You have an intriguing story concept here, but you need to get us to the drama faster."

So I worry. Are these two agents right about my work, or is the agent who signed me right? Is my novel really ready to be submitted to publishing houses? Is it good enough to get a book deal? Should I go back and do rewrites? What if it gets published and is then savaged by the critics and totally bombs? Why am I filled with self-doubt? When should I listen to my critics, and when (and how) should I trust myself?

Any advice or commiseration would be much appreciated. For now, I'll try and drown out the self-doubt by telling myself that my agent believes in my work, and Mr. Pink believes in my work, and my family believes in my work, and I can't just focus on the negative all the time. And it's 5:35 on a sunny Saturday evening. I think I'll have a nice cocktail now.


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