By Annie Cronin Romano
It is three hours and forty-five minutes until midnight on New Year’s Eve. A clean slate looms on the horizon. A fresh list of writing resolutions awaits me. My email notification chimes but I ignore it. I’m spending quality time with my hubby and kids carefully scrutinizing every act on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Important stuff.
As I head up to bed just after midnight, I glance at my phone and check my email. After all, maybe I’ll jump into the New Year with 20% off at Pottery Barn.
And there is an email from Pottery Barn. It even offers free shipping. But suddenly I don’t care as my gaze drops down to the familiar subject line we writers simultaneously wish for and dread…RE: Query.
As soon as I spot the word “unfortunately,” I know it’s a rejection. A rejection from an agent. A carefully-researched agent. An agent who rejected me at 8:15 PM on New Year’s Eve. One last kick in the pants before I squeaked my way out of 2014. Except I’ve read it at 12:11 AM on January 1st, 2015, so it’s a rejection to start off my new year…with a whimper.
At first, I want to scream, “Really? On New Year’s? Are you kidding me?” (My actual words were less suitable for print and blew resolution #1 right out the window.) Then I thought…Tequila. That will show them. (Resolution #2 crushed.) Perhaps a box of chocolates? I’m sinking fast.
What stinks more than getting a rejection on New Year’s Eve?
Working on New Year’s Eve.
Yup. That’s when I realize it. The agent who’d rejected me had been working on New Year’s Eve. That’s the kind of agent I want. One who gets done what needs getting done. Even on a holiday. (Okay, I realize this agent may just be anti-eve and anti-social, but I’m trying to be glass half full here.) I wasn’t writing that evening, but this agent had been responding to my query. I was impressed. Yes, an offer of representation would have been immensely preferred, but you see where I’m going with this.
I read lots of picture books to keep my mind charged with my genre and my eyes on what’s current. And I have to admit, there are many I don’t care for. I may read ten in one afternoon and truly adore only one of them. If that. I recently shared this observation with Kelly, a 24 Carrot Writing colleague, who pointed out, “That’s similar to what agents say when they reject manuscripts.” This just didn’t resonate with me. (Ring any bells?) Except they’re swamped with queries. Hmm…
So my New Year’s resolution for 2015? Don’t take the rejections too personally. Even if they come on a holiday. Writing is tough. So is being an agent. Hopefully someday soon one of my manuscripts with resonate with an agent who will sing out, “I have to sign this writer immediately!” And if she realizes that on July 4th, I hope she’ll let me know.
Happy 2015! Keep writing. Keep your chin up.
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