One of the things I allowed myself to get excited about was that a friend of a friend paved the way for me to submit to his agent.
I’ve cold-submitted so many times that this one felt…especially hopeful. I had a brand new query letter written more by a friend who’s dead good at queries than myself, and I thought my package was good.
And I got a very nice email…just the right amount of encouraging without making promises…but still a rejection. It felt like it had been written especially for me, and I thought it very kind (though having spent the last week and a half writing emails to students about letting them into classes, I know very well how much words overlap. Just as there are only so many ways to tell someone that they’ve been permitted into a class, there are only so many ways of saying thanks but no.
Normally I’m like, eh. Next! But I admit, while I was my normal resigned nature, there was a little whiff of regret. You get that, though. You have to trust that it all works out for the best.
But any rejection, no matter how kind, can, if you dwell on it, awaken the normal doubts. I was more open to this one, so I had the “What if my book is utterly not able to be sold? Maybe I need to retreat to my nice, safe, independent publishing mold.” And it would be easy, to say, “You are lucky that Dragonwell is willing to publish it. You should let them have it before they change their mind.”
It’s comfortable and comforting. (By the way, Dragonwell, being incredibly awesome, supports my trying to get an agent completely.) To know you can just retreat and do what you always do. (I need to keep it a safety net, and not a safety blanket, though.)
But that’s not how you someday become a hermit, so, I am going to put myself out there again, send of another letter to another agent. Knowing that somewhere, someone has yet to tell me no is always motivating, because there is always hope that it won’t be no.
So, no giving up yet.