I save every single one of my rejections. They all sit safely in my inbox and I read them often. Even the generic ones. The ones that aren’t anything “personal”, but still cut just as deep. I read them for encouragement, oddly enough. To remind myself that someone will eventually say, definitively “Yes”. That one day, I won’t be stress eating all of my children’s goldfish snack bags and chewing my cuticles until they cry for mercy. My friend’s compliment me constantly on how dedicated I am to working out, but what they don’t realize is… it’s one of the few things that keep me from curling in a ball and crying with each passing week that I don’t get the ‘Yes’ I am so desperate for.
Funny how life works though. As I sat, all dolled up for the first time in months, waiting for the reception of my gorgeous friend’s wedding to begin, I saw my phone light up. Thinking it was my mother texting about my kids, I glanced at it. It, in fact, wasn’t my mother, but my MIL asking for a recipe, and then as the light began to dim, another thing popped up. an email. And, by now, a little thing within me knows when it’s an agent. My eyes immediately dart to QUERY in the subject line and my heart stops. I hold my breath and pray and look for signs of the Yes that isn’t there… it’s always No. Always.
So this makes 6? Maybe more… I get the auto reply. The “We’ve received your query submission, and if we don’t respond in 47 weeks, it’s a No… but thanks!”. So if I count those… maybe we are at 9. But I think God times this shit for me. Because the wedding was a blast. I got to sit with my soul sister… the one that tells me that I fart unicorn glitter and write better than anyone she’s ever read. I always have her read my revisions first because she makes me feel good about myself – then I send it to my friend that tells me for real (haha – but no seriously… she’s probably the kindest person on the planet and helps me not be too hard on myself). Point is… we danced, we photoboothed, we caught up with friends we hadn’t seen in a while, we laughed at drunk people (us… we were the drunk people) and it softened the blow. It took my mind off of the rejections that I should be used to by now. Which, truly I am… I honestly expect them, but a piece of me hoped that once I made the changes, somehow something would click and the agents would be lining up for me!
I mean… I think it’s pretty good.
Either way, we had a great weekend – aside from my feet feeling like I’m walking on pebbles after being in heels for 6 hours – it was well worth the trip and I came home looking forward to starting on a new book to read and will work on sending my query to, yet more, agents. But that always makes my anxiety shoot through the roof, so I will have to relax for a couple days and then go for it. I sent about 7 last week, one of which sent the lovely “no” so that leaves 6… 4 of which will probably not respond and 2 that will most likely say no – if my calculations are correct compared to the last round, pre-revisions.
I sat, last night, reading her email again, searching for a sign that I might be able to convince her otherwise (there wasn’t one – she ain’t interested) and up pops another email. A friend that read my newest version. Now, this is someone who has no obligation to like me. I met her on our honeymoon 4 years ago and (our honeymoon was awesome and we made a few friends that I still keep in touch with that live in different parts of the US and I love them in the non-creepiest way possible) she agreed to read it for me. I really think highly of her, she’s a working momma who is incredibly smart and pretty and makes me feel like a bumbling moron, but somehow she likes me and did me this solid. And she sent me the kindest words right when I needed them. It’s strange because I feel like I’ve posted before about how this happens. Just when I am on the verge of sobbing into a bottle of wine, one of my friends randomly texts, DMs, emails me something encouraging. Like I’m tearing up typing this now because I don’t know if they quite understand how special those words are to me and how much I need them even though I don’t even know I need them until I get them. But every time, every single time, I think ‘Maybe I do have something here… maybe I’m not a shitty writer and this project does have potential’.
I can’t emphasize enough how emotional this process has been. How much I have had to put myself out there and hope for the best. Pray that anyone thinks I’m good enough. Whether my book or blog, it’s incredibly taxing. I love it, though. I think it’s helped me to become a stronger person and this, in turn, makes me a better wife and mother. But it’s definitely not easy. It’s a tough thing to think anyone is out there seeing what I post and thinking “Gosh this girl is annoying, I wish she would stop” or “Here we go again, another blogger that thinks she has something like all these million other people”… But I have to think that. I might be annoying – but this is my passion. And I have to think that if I love to do something this much, it’s worth pursuing.
I may not have thousands of followers, or views. I may not be the best writer or mother or wife. I may have the talent of a blind, 3-legged dog, but I love this. Which sounds contradictory considering how much anxiety it gives me, but maybe I’m a masochist. Who knows!?