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Fingers typing on keyboardAmidst Saturday’s pile of mail was an envelope that looked all too familiar: the SASE that I had included with my most recent query to a literary agent. How can one have so many conflicting emotions bottlenecking all at once? I don’t know, but they were all there in a millimoment, jamming for attention: Disappointment. Understanding (this quest is a numbers game, I know). Satisfaction — that is, knowing that I’m taking my writing to the next level and putting it ‘out there’. And then right back to disappointment again.

cuppa joe

Undeniably, persistence is an essential ingredient in achieving a goal. I know this. I know that it would be too easy to give up, to give in, toss in the proverbial towel. Have you shaken hands with your gremlin yet? Mine’s “Patty Perfect”. She’s spent years lounging on my shoulder, legs crossed and wagging her critical finger at every obstacle and stumble. She’s the reason this first novel manuscript was left to languish in a box in the rear of my closet. Little did I realize at the time that if I’d heeded the suggestions made by an editor who read my manuscript (yup! the entire thing! and unsolicited — I knew so little about submissions back then), there was a good chance it would have been picked up. This reading-between-the-lines of my first “positive rejection” came years later, by way of an acquaintance who is a literary agency executive. His “translation” of the letter gave me the encouragement to revitalize the project, however.

assorted ice cream conesSo here I am, sending out query letters for project #1. And working on project #2. A novel of a completely different ilk. I dedicated a good portion of Sunday to researching more literary agent options for my first manuscript and made the necessary decisions about my next choices (although I’ll only send out one-query-at-a-time). It is as important that I continue with my agent search as it is to stay with the developing story of my current work. Herein lies the challenge for balance and attention to momentum.

With one free hour available today, I dedicated it to project #2. A local coffee house has a back room area with comfy chairs and tables. Hoping that it would be quiet, I packed up my laptop and headed down there. I was determined that I wasn’t going to let the most recent “Thanks, but not for me” message taint my inspiration. I blocked out the background chatter and focused on my screen until my story’s characters once again came to life in my head. As my fingers began to tap the keys, I felt an internal sigh of relief. Balance and momentum were in place and humming. Yay!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • myartfullife May 10, 2007, 4:12 pm

    Oh, thank you dear readers! Your virtual support is a comfort and makes me smile! Onward, onward.

  • Fran May 10, 2007, 11:42 am

    I SO agree with the two previous commenters! I especially love the way Firefly put it: “Well done on getting that much closer to the inevitable acceptance letter you are to receive.” Right on! You KNOW how much I believe in this novel. It WILL be published. And I have dibs on one of the first half-dozen autographed copies.

  • firefly8868 May 10, 2007, 9:00 am

    You go girl.

    Well done on getting that much closer to the inevitable acceptance letter you are to receive.

    I wonder what would happen if a writer turned the table on literary agents, and sent out letters stating that, unfortunately you [literary agent] just don’t meet my requirements and I am afraid I will have to pass on you.

    Wouldn’t that be funny.

    Best to you,

  • Kathleen May 10, 2007, 6:24 am


    Hats off to you for maintaining your courage! We should all learn from you … and remember it’s persistence that makes all the difference. I think it’s also good to acknowledge and not dismiss the ‘hurt’ our inner creative feels –(I say, it’s OK to cry and stomp our feet) despite what our logic brains knows; that a rejection from an agent doesn’t reflect the qualtiy of your work. The important thing is to do what you did–keep going!

    Thanks for sharing.


    A fellow vulnerable writer, Kathleen

    Thanks for sharing

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