I’ve officially lost count of the number of times I’ve filtered a pretty picture, and drafted up a status update to let you all know how I’ve been doing since the original agent pitch 2 months ago. Since then I’ve gone out to 22 agents, received 6 gracious rejection letters, 7 are currently reviewing the proposal & 9 I am yet to hear from, which is totally expected in the industry (most agents get hundreds of query letter submissions every week).
The in-between time of waiting to hear has been up & down. I’m happy to say that up to rejection #4, and a few days after rejection #4, it’s been mostly up. And it’s been that way because I’m at choice. Every single day we’re at choice of how we’ll handle things…and I’m choosing joy, connection, gratitude & trust.
After the first few rejections, I said that I was trusting the process, heck I was even hashtagging #trusttheprocess (we all know that shit gets real when you hashtag). But I really wasn’t fully trusting the process until rejection #4 came in. Rejection #4 brought me to the fetal position curled up on my bed, scrolling through my phone to find my dial-a-fellow-writer life line. I felt punched in the face. I was taking this one personally. I was sad.
With the help of a precious few, I slowly came back to a seated position. Still on the bed, still tear soaked and snotty, still bruised for sure, but I was slowly rising again. In that moment, I publicly declared to myself that for the rest of this process, however long this may take, I would be choosing joy.
So I starting making rejection dance videos & sending them to my nearest & dearest. The ones that won’t judge me, will laugh with me, and tell me that they’re going to hang on to the videos to send to the media when my book makes it big haha. Some people print off rejections letters & paste them to their walls, some give themselves gold stars…I dance.
Knowing that I’m not alone, has helped immensely too. One writer I know was rejected 15 times before finding her agent. Another took 6 months to “change her voice” because an agent didn’t like her writing style (she learned in the end that changing her voice was not the answer…and waiting for an agent who fell in love with her was). The author of The Help Kathryn Stockett was rejected by 60 agents. J K Rowling received 12 rejections from publishers before Harry Potter was picked up, and I saw on Buzzfeed that someone told her not to quit her day job. Ha.
I’ll admit, I got a little caught up in the romance of New York City dreaming, the talk of big book deals, and picturing my book on shelves. While dreaming is permitted in these situations & also encouraged and essential, losing touch with reality and unconsciously placing expectations on the manifestation of dreams doesn’t usually work in your favour.
So I’ve let it all go. I’ve done my part, and the universe will take the lead from here, as it truthfully has been since day one of this journey. I really do believe there is a plan for this book. I believe it has a life of its own. I believe that I was called to go down this road since that magical moment in Long Beach, California in March of 2012 as I stood in front of the Queen Mary doing the first recreation of a photo of my grandparents. It was the moment that gave me this whole idea in the first place.
So there ya have it. I wait. I trust (no hashtags required). I enjoy the calm, quiet space of the in-between. And I celebrate with dance videos.
Don’t give up your dreams, peeps. I’m cheering you on every step of the way!