I've been working on getting an agent to help me publish the book I recently finished writing and I had a very interesting experience the other day. I received a rejection letter, but it was an incredibly uplifting letter. Usually, if an agent is passing on your work you get a standard form letter, nothing personal, nothing helpful, just passing on your work. It is very rare to get any feedback from agents because they are very busy and don't have to time to point out what you could have done differently. It's just part of the business, some people will like your work and others wont for one reason or another. Getting back to the positive rejection letter I received, not only was it not a standard form letter, but he also told me that the rejection on his part had nothing to do with the stability of my work, that it just wasn't right for him. Awesome, right? This is where things get a little weird. I told a couple friends that I got a great rejection letter and they all asked if I was okay?
This got me thinking about how people respond to rejection. I was beyond excited that not only was I not getting another standard letter but that he left me on a positive note. In my eyes, it wasn't a rejection letter at all. Sure that particular agent wasn't interesting in my work, but his letter made me want to keep trying to keep fighting. Rejection is a big part of this game and I knew that going in. I read a quote somewhere online that said something to the effect of: If you received a rejection letter, then congratulations, you've joined the ranks of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Rowling and so on. Being rejected in this business is a right of passage, those who cant take it wont make it.
It's interesting though that we're all so afraid of rejection, that it's always seen as a negative. But every person who has made something of themselves has been told no. If there was never any rejection there wouldn't be anything to strive for. People wouldn't try to push through the rejection and get what they want. So when my friends looked at me and asked if I was okay, I said of course I am with a smile and new found determination. I knew this road wasn't going to be a piece of cake and I'm glad that i'm someone who can take rejection and turn it into a positive. I may get a hundred more rejection letters, but all it takes is one yes!
Until Next Time!