So you work really, really hard on your manuscript.
Like, harder than you’ve ever worked before. You’ve juggled a billion different storylines and characters and arcs…
…and it’s finally perfect. It’s where you want it to be and the bigger picture is in sight!
It became a labor of love. And now you finally feel like you can get it off the ground…
So you start the whole querying process. You write a #BOMB query letter:
So you’re really optimistic about the whole process:
You’re totally confident that some wonderful agent is going to come and pluck you out of obscurity and make all of your dreams come true!
So you dream…
And you get to work furiously sending out letters to your top agents.
You killed it. You feel accomplished. As well you should because it’s a huge step putting yourself out there. Pat yourself on the back. Have a cookie. And then wait…
And you get your first agent requesting your full manuscript, and you’re all:
You put your best foot forward and respond with enthusiasm (but not TOO much enthusiasm because you still want to seem professional even though you’re squealing like a little girl inside). After not hearing anything for so long and losing a little bit of swag and confidence while waiting, you finally feel somewhat vindicated.
So you send the full manuscript, and you feel somewhat invincible because SOMEONE IS INTERESTED IN YOU!!! You go, you Street Rat, you!
And the longer they have it, the more you begin to think, “wow, they’re so immersed in it that they’re really taking the time to let my brilliance soak in. They’re crafting a really wonderful letter to me telling me about all the wonderful things they will do with and for me after they sign me because OF COURSE they’re going to sign me, right?” So you walk with a little more confidence, a little more bounce in your step because THIS COULD BE IT!
And then after a few weeks, you get the stock rejection letter that basically says that you’re “not a right fit” and that they “wish you well on your search.”
But you try to remember that it’s just one agent’s opinion. There are others. So many others.
That one obviously wasn’t the right one for you.
And just when you tell yourself that your dreams will come true, more agents email you and ask to read more of your work: three chapters, first 50 pages, full manuscript! WAHOOOO!!!! You’re back in the game!!! You’re like a superhero…you get knocked down, but you get right back up!
But then more rejections come in…
….then even more rejections….
…and then the agents that you were really banking on reject you. And it comes to a point where you just can’t take it anymore…
It almost feels like the agents aren’t even reading your work; they’re just sending out stock rejection after stock rejection just to clear out their inbox. They’re beating you away with a stick because they assume you’re just like every other person out there who wants to be a writer…
But you’re not.
You have something inside of you that you need to share. You have a gift. And you’re DAMN good at it. You just want the opportunity to prove yourself…
…but it seems like all the agents you’re sending to just don’t care. And every time they send you a rejection, they’re taking a piece of your soul and making you question everything you’ve ever known about yourself and your abilities and talents.
So you become really dark.
And you start to lose hope…
And nothing seems to make sense…Maybe you’re even going a little crazytown.
So you realize you have two choices: You can dwell and get stuck and fall into an abyss of despair:
Or, you can take a page from Walt Disney’s book and Keep Moving Forward:
Ever since Meet the Robinsons was released — which, by the way, is an extremely underrated and totally uplifting Disney classic — I have made “Keep Moving Forward” my personal mission statement.
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious … And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
– Walt Disney
I just have to remember that.
All images are copyrighted by the Walt Disney Company and Disney Animation Studios. GIFs are from various Tumblrs. I have no rights to any of these images. Please don’t kill me, Disney. I love you.