Jump to content

Disclaimer



Photo

A Question - is it just me?


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 hjvagar

hjvagar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:had pictures and directions on something I created and was given credit as a costume tech in The Outlaw series.

Posted 06 February 2018 - 09:45 PM

 Just wondering if I'm the only one that has shed a few tears after receiving rejection letters. I feel like such an ass but it's so disheartening. I've had great responses from others that have critiqued it but is it always this hard to get an agent to even read a few chapters? I sit here and feel like just giving up sometimes! (Also, I wonder if I'll live long enough to even get any interest in it lol). I've written one book which I knew probably wouldn't have a lot of commercial interest but the second one I had high hopes and even have 2 sequels to it almost finished. One time I was this down and another person on this site gave me what I called a good kick in the ass and got me back writing but I don't want to be so much of a cry baby that I keep needing that 'push'! Am I alone in this kind of self-doubt?



#2 DisgruntledWriter

DisgruntledWriter

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 169 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:06 AM

I haven't cried, but it's definitely messed me up.  Years ago, I sent a few (absolutely horrific) queries out for a manuscript that was just awful and had no hope in hell of ever being published.  I knew this, but the thought of spending years working on something that's garbage got me down and I even stopped writing for a few years and couldn't figure out why.

I now have a much better manuscript, but still have those doubts.  One thing that's helped soften the blow of getting rejections were sending out a ton of short stories to magazines, where 99% of the time it's a rejection.  I know having a short story vs. a novel rejected are two different things, but it has helped numb me to the whole thing now.



#3 hjvagar

hjvagar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:had pictures and directions on something I created and was given credit as a costume tech in The Outlaw series.

Posted 07 February 2018 - 02:42 PM

I have learned at least one thing with this experience. Never send out  queries when there are not-so-good things happening in your life. It just intensified it all for me. It is turning the experience into a 'divorce' moment for me too. I haven't even looked at my pens, binders or papers for 3 days now and certainly don't want to do that today either. As for the short story thing I'm not sure if I want to go that route. Trying to curb my spate of words to something short might be a little trying for me. lol. Ah me, I guess it's just going to take me a bit to go back to sending them out again. Thanks for the reply!



#4 DisgruntledWriter

DisgruntledWriter

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 169 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 07 February 2018 - 03:27 PM

I certainly feel you not wanting to write when you aren't feeling well mentally! When I sent out my first queries years ago I was in a terrible head space, which only intensified the feelings of self-doubt.

And by the short story thing - I meant I already had short stories from years ago just sitting on my computer unread, so it took little effort to submit them to online magazines.  I definitely don't think I have it in me to start writing short stories again either at this point  :blink:



#5 lnloft

lnloft

    LNLOFT

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 07 February 2018 - 03:41 PM

We're all in such an odd space mentally, when you think about it. We have to look at this whole process with reasonable expectations and therefore not get ourselves too hyped up, as what we are doing is incredibly difficult, but at the same time, we wouldn't be here if some part of us didn't truly believe that we can get this done. So it's a strange dichotomy of self doubt and self belief.

 

Personally, I haven't cried yet. I think that while part of me was hoping that my query and my book would be that amazing that agents would just be lining up to offer reps, the rational part of me knew that this process comes with a lot of rejections, so when I got my first rejection, I was disappointed but maybe more prepared than I thought I was. I think I was also helped that the second response I got was a request, so that's buoyed me along since then. But since that first request, I've gotten a mostly lot of nos or cricket noise, and it's tough. The toughest was probably a couple days ago when I got a rejection after getting a partial request (the only other request I've gotten). That one's tougher, because I think I had convinced myself that my book was awesome enough that if I just got an agent to start reading, they would definitely want to offer. We'll see how things go with that first request, but when I finally hear back hopefully within the next month, if it's a rejection, then I probably will find a few tears being shed.

 

So, it's not just you. A lot of us will react in different ways, but the rejections piling up does take a toll. However, you should never feel ashamed about coming to this site for support. We're all in the same boat, and we all get it. If you just need to unload some feelings to a group who understand the emotions, you can do that. If you need that kick in the butt, just ask for it. We get it. We're here.



#6 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 07 February 2018 - 04:32 PM

I've been querying for ten years and have about 460 rejections over a span of 3 books, but I'm writing a fourth book, continue querying, keep going.  The average length of time to get your first book traditionally published is ten years, and your first book published is not usually your first book written.

 

It's true that writing short stories can help. Although I've failed to snag an agent, I have published multiple stories, and that makes me feel like less of a failure. Some magazines have 99% rejection rates, but others are more likely to accept. 

 

I was just reading a multi-published author bio, and she said that she queried for ten years before she got an offer.

 

The moral of the story is be persistent, try not to let it get it to you (OK, it gets to me quite a bit). You must be persistent and keep writing, and don't think you're the only one.



#7 hjvagar

hjvagar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:had pictures and directions on something I created and was given credit as a costume tech in The Outlaw series.

Posted 08 February 2018 - 09:27 PM

I want to thank everyone that replied here. It did me a lot of good to see the things said. It was a hard time for me to open up my email and see the rejections sitting in there. My daughter is in the ICU and it's been a trying time for me anyhow so it was just those piled on top and it all hit me. I have put my sequel to the side for now. (Not really worried since it's around 3/4 done and the next part is about 1/2 way done.) So I will keep sending out the queries and hope someone finally wants to read it lol. (Think maybe I'll take a glass of wine before looking at my email from now on.)



#8 Emily804

Emily804

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 86 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northwest

Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:04 PM

I want to thank everyone that replied here. It did me a lot of good to see the things said. It was a hard time for me to open up my email and see the rejections sitting in there. My daughter is in the ICU and it's been a trying time for me anyhow so it was just those piled on top and it all hit me. I have put my sequel to the side for now. (Not really worried since it's around 3/4 done and the next part is about 1/2 way done.) So I will keep sending out the queries and hope someone finally wants to read it lol. (Think maybe I'll take a glass of wine before looking at my email from now on.)

 

I'm sorry you're going through all of that!

 

Personally I'm drowning in silence, so no tears yet. Maybe actually getting a rejection letter would hit me, but I'm not sure. What I do is I try to look forward to rejection, as weird as it sounds. A lot of times you have to query around 100 agents before you get accepted, so I try to think of every rejection as one step closer to finding the right person. 

 

For me the hardest part of this process was receiving negative feedback (or even worse NO feedback) from family and friends. The negative feedback hurt but was helpful. The silence...definitely made it hard to get back to writing and was quite ominous. 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#9 hjvagar

hjvagar

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 31 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:had pictures and directions on something I created and was given credit as a costume tech in The Outlaw series.

Posted 25 February 2018 - 09:00 PM

Emily804. The very first critique I got from a family member was negative too. At first it really stung but it made me do a rewrite and another and another until I felt it was better and I asked friends to critique it for me (Told them I wanted them to be brutally honest with me) and that was when I appreciated that first negative review. It made me see it wasn't the 'great American novel' I had thought it was. Because of the push to do the rewrites it is now so much better.

And now let me give you a big thanks. Hearing about the 100 tries before success was a good thing to hear. I guess I have a long way to go but at least now I can hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel! I won't have to get so upset! (Well, at least until I get close to that 100 mark lol)



#10 tommywilliford

tommywilliford

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 20 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Published a few academic pieces if you can find them.

Posted 21 March 2018 - 08:33 AM

Hey guys... newbie here. I have to say, you guys know how to cheer a fella up. I just finished my first book and am querying, already gotten back a few rejections. The hard part for me is that I don't know if I am getting rejected because the content itself is too controversial for them or the writing is shitty. I think if I knew that that would determine if I would cry. If I get a rejection that says, hey kid, you can't write, I think I might cry, really cry, but the reality is I don't think I'm gonna get that. The reality is probably that my title scares people, my query is probably over the top and scares people shitless. I'm probably insane. I definitely need to bring it up in therapy. Or does this count? I guess what I am trying to say, poorly, (perhaps it is my writing that is ruining me) is that I'm trying to stay out of my head during this process. Not over think it, because so far, I am finding that writing the book was the easy part.

 

This query process is a bitch.



#11 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:02 PM

Hey guys... newbie here. I have to say, you guys know how to cheer a fella up. I just finished my first book and am querying, already gotten back a few rejections. The hard part for me is that I don't know if I am getting rejected because the content itself is too controversial for them or the writing is shitty. I think if I knew that that would determine if I would cry. If I get a rejection that says, hey kid, you can't write, I think I might cry, really cry, but the reality is I don't think I'm gonna get that. The reality is probably that my title scares people, my query is probably over the top and scares people shitless. I'm probably insane. I definitely need to bring it up in therapy. Or does this count? I guess what I am trying to say, poorly, (perhaps it is my writing that is ruining me) is that I'm trying to stay out of my head during this process. Not over think it, because so far, I am finding that writing the book was the easy part.

 

This query process is a bitch.

 

 

What I find to be most frustrating about the query process is that, as you say, you mostly get either form rejections or no response. As a writer, you want to know where in the process the rejections are coming from: query sucks? writing sucks? story not marketable? But no one gives you any feedback. So if you're getting rejections you just have to try random things and hope they help: rewrite your query, your first chapter, rewrite your query a second time. You're just stabbing in the dark. Oh well. 



#12 LucidDreamer

LucidDreamer

    Pragmatic Dreamer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,080 posts
  • Literary Status:published, agented
  • LocationUS Southeast
  • Publishing Experience:Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, (publisher Crooked Lane Books) written as Victoria Gilbert. Book One - A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS: December 2017. Book Two - SHELVED UNDER MURDER: July 2018. Book Three - PAST DUE FOR MURDER: early 2019.

Posted 06 April 2018 - 07:44 AM

The truth is that this is a brutal business. Even after getting an agent and having books published, you will get rejections -- on pitches for new books, losing out on (or not even being nominated for) any awards, and via bad reviews (everyone gets those!) And yes, I have cried plenty of times during the process.

I am slowly learning to let that stuff go and write because I want to write and keep writing because it hones my craft. I know that not all my books (or ideas/pitches for books) will succeed and that's tough. But if I keep working the law of averages is on my side.

But I still can get very depressed sometimes, so I feel your pain. The thing is, there is no "top of the ladder" that you reach where everything is great. It's going to be a roller coaster, even if you achieve substantial success. That's what creative careers are like (I've worked in close contact with people in the arts so I've seen this first hand). You have to take the bad with the good and know that for every rejection, there can be a corresponding "yes." It may not feel that way when you are in the trenches, but it's true. And try to enjoy the ride a bit as well. Celebrate having written a book (or several) -- 99% of the world cannot make that claim! Enjoy the process of being creative and writing and networking with other authors.

I say all this confessing that I do get very down sometimes so I am certainly still in the "physician heal thyself" phase.

#13 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 06 April 2018 - 04:01 PM

@LucidDreamer: Thanks so much for dropping by and adding your experience from the other side.



#14 mojicanpuertorican

mojicanpuertorican

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 140 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting, emerging, unagented
  • LocationUS Southeast

Posted 11 April 2018 - 11:45 AM

What I find to be most frustrating about the query process is that, as you say, you mostly get either form rejections or no response. As a writer, you want to know where in the process the rejections are coming from: query sucks? writing sucks? story not marketable? But no one gives you any feedback. So if you're getting rejections you just have to try random things and hope they help: rewrite your query, your first chapter, rewrite your query a second time. You're just stabbing in the dark. Oh well. 

 

I couldn't agree more with this. After having betas, fine tuning your work, and polishing it, receiving praise from it, you send those queries with a smile, hopeful that an agent will love it. Then the rejection comes and how it stings. But like you said, the worst part is you don't know why. Is it the writing? The query stinks? Dull characters? Not marketable? What is it?! But a lot of times it's a form rejection never detailing their decision. If you got feedback, you could probably improve your work greatly, because you're getting advice from someone who knows good writing, the market, etc. You really are stabbing in the dark. You don't know where to go, then so many thoughts plague you that you become paranoid. Then some stuff that does get published (although most published works are well-written and good) are really abysmal and you think "How the heck did that get published?" Many publishers say they want something different or unique and when it comes along publishers are afraid of it, even suspicious. I've known some amazing writers who, sadly, never got published. Good writing, story, characters helps, but it feels like it doesn't guarantee you'll get published even then. Sometimes it's timing, market, or who knows if the agent is in a bad mood and just skims your query and presses delete, I know that doesn't happen often since they want to find a good book, but I can't deny it's crossed my mind if that has happened. Anyways, one should write because they love it. Even some days that I feel like I'm at the end of my rope with writing, I keep coming back to it. I love doing it. What makes you a writer is that you write. We share the grief of rejection, first ones aren't too bad, but when they pile up, you worry. It's somewhat comforting to know you aren't alone in this. We're in the same train, hoping to eventually find our stop.   



#15 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 11 April 2018 - 12:09 PM

Yes I want to learn something from this process. If there's something I'm consistently doing wrong I want to fix it. If I'm not doing anything wrong, but it's a market issue, I'd like to know that, too. But there is no feedback. That's what makes me more crazy than anything.



#16 DisgruntledWriter

DisgruntledWriter

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 169 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:04 AM

My personal favourite is the rejection letter starting with "Dear Author."  :humph: Basically the first rule of querying is to make SURE you have that agents name right (and don't put "Dear Agent", so help you god).  You spend all this time looking them up on websites, carefully construct a personalized sentence why they might like your work, and then you get "Dear Author." Hmph.  Well, thanks, guess I don't even need to open that email to know it's a rejection. 

 

And yes, I'm being petty.



#17 smithgirl

smithgirl

    smithgirl

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Literary Status:emerging, published, unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:42 AM

My personal favourite is the rejection letter starting with "Dear Author."  :humph: Basically the first rule of querying is to make SURE you have that agents name right (and don't put "Dear Agent", so help you god).  You spend all this time looking them up on websites, carefully construct a personalized sentence why they might like your work, and then you get "Dear Author." Hmph.  Well, thanks, guess I don't even need to open that email to know it's a rejection. 

 

And yes, I'm being petty.

 

Yes, it does feel like a double standard. I don't think it's petty. What can you do?



#18 DisgruntledWriter

DisgruntledWriter

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 169 posts
  • Literary Status:just starting
  • LocationCanada

Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:52 AM

Yes, it does feel like a double standard. I don't think it's petty. What can you do?

 

Complain on here!  :laugh: No one else understands, haha.



#19 mwsinclair

mwsinclair

    Elephant with a trunk full of novels

  • Group Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,657 posts
  • Literary Status:published, unagented, media
  • LocationUS Northeast
  • Publishing Experience:Journalist covering U.S. nonprofits, foundations, and life in general. President and Chief Elephant Officer of Elephant's Bookshelf Press, LLC. Since establishing the company in 2012, we have published ten books, including short stories by several AQC writers and debut novels by AQC authors A.T. O'Connor (aka Cat Woods), "ScubaSteve" Carman, and R.S. Mellette. Heading into 2016, we're aiming to publish at least two books, including the second Mellette novel and an anthology. In 2015, I saw a few memoir/nonfiction pieces published in Red Fez. I expect to do more of that in 2016 and beyond, while also looking to add freelance editing and writing clients.

Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:01 AM

I still get affected by some criticisms from my boss and I'm the editor of a well-regarded online niche publication. It's natural to feel bad in those situations, but you just have to dust yourself off and get back into the game. While you're getting up and dusting off, however, do a bit of thinking about whether the criticisms are valid. Such self-assessment is critical, I believe, to improving as a writer -- and really to improving in general.



#20 lnloft

lnloft

    LNLOFT

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts
  • Literary Status:unagented
  • LocationUS Northeast

Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:13 AM

I’ve had one personalized rejection. One of the criticisms she gave was that apparently I had tense issues in my first couple of sentences, which for the life of me I still can’t find. That made it harder to rationally consider her other feedback. I have since tweaked some things in accordance with what she said, but, yeah, those critiques are hard to take, especially when you don’t see the validity of what they say.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users