Blerg

I wonder how many blog posts I’ve written with that title? Hmm. Maybe I’m channeling my inner Liz Lemon a little too much. That word just seems to communicate so much when you don’t know what to say.

I heard back from my agent today about our submission status. Of the ten editors who have The Clearing, five of them have rejected it. Now, that in and of itself is not that big of a deal. In fact, I was expecting more rejections. It comes with the job.

What upsets me is that they seem to like it less this time around than they did last time I submitted. After our first round of submissions, all of the comments I got back from editors were super encouraging. I mean, they all rejected me, but they did it while brushing my hair and telling me how pretty I was. (Figuratively speaking, I mean.)

This time, they’re harping on the negatives while (figuratively) pointing out that my ears are lopsided and telling me to get to the gym more. This is especially distressing because I spent 3 months working on the weak spots they pointed out last time. I thought my book was in really good shape. I thought it was about a thousand times better than before. I fully expected some compliments on my work.

There was one editor I really, really wanted to work with – and her rejection was one of the most hurtful to me. She wasn’t mean to me personally at all – none of them were – but the issues she had with the story really hurt my feelings. I don’t think she even considered accepting me. I’m not sure she liked the story at all.

I’m so confused. I feel like I just went through rush and everybody was telling me how much they liked my floral sundress and my pearl earrings, and I was totally going to get the AOPi bid, and then bid day came and all the sisters told me they couldn’t really connect with my dress and my earrings’ relationship with each other didn’t make sense.

That did not actually happen, by the way. But it’s still a good metaphor.

I don’t really know what to do now, but if five of those editors rejected me for similar reasons, I need to prepare myself to hear the same thing from the rest of them.

And then I need to build a bridge and get over it. Because I won’t stop writing, and I won’t stop trying to get published. I might cry a good bit between now and my publication date – whenever that might be – but I won’t give up. <cue “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera>

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29 thoughts on “Blerg

  1. Tiffany Neal says:

    Awww. 🙁 I’m sorry. You are a great reminder that just because you get an agent doesn’t mean the fight ends. The process is a long one full of heart ache. But then the day will come that everything will pull together and your book will be on the shelf. Because like you said, you are a writer. That’s what you do. You keep your head up and keep writing. No matter what!

  2. The Alliterative Allomorph says:

    Oh, what a bummer. Well, just like everyone keeps telling me, ‘You only need one agent’, I guess it’s the same with publishers. You’ll get one eventually. It just has to fall in the right hands 🙂

  3. Anne Riley says:

    Tiffany: Yeah… unfortunately, I thought that after getting an agent – which was a huge battle in and of itself – I would cruise to publication. I am learning that I was so, so wrong. It’s a hard lesson, and there’s no getting around it… but I’ll push through.

  4. Anne Riley says:

    Allomorph: Yeah, you’re right. It only takes one. I once saw a story about a girl who took forever to get published, and she says to remember that the only difference between an unpublished author and a published one is a day. One day. That’s all it takes.

  5. Jenn Buird says:

    Awe, I’m sorry to hear that. Though, just by reading this ‘blerg’ I can tell your really an awesome writer and your short stories are better then alot of the books that I’ve read. (And thats a bunch, trust me, I have no life.) I’m sure your book will get published! I can’t wait to read it! ^.^

  6. Jemi Fraser says:

    The right editor will come alone & snatch it up. It’s gotta be at the right time – it’ll happen.

    Waiting is always hard! Keep good thoughts 🙂

  7. Lorel says:

    Maybe the harsh criticism is a good thing? Maybe they think your work sounds way more professional now and assume you have pachyderm skin (though I’m sure that rhino hide looks great in a sun dress) and can withstand it.
    There must be some editor out there who will connect with your book. I know you won’t give up!

  8. Adelyn says:

    You can do it! You’re an amazing writer! Like you said, just keep trying, and you’ll get there. One day soon we’ll all be pre-ordering your book on Amazon. 🙂

  9. Anne Riley says:

    Thanks Jemi. I think this experience is really good for me because it frustrates my control freak tendencies… but that’s the thing. It FRUSTRATES me. Ha!

  10. Anne Riley says:

    Lorel: I just laughed out loud at your rhino skin comment – that is awesome! Maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way. Hmmm…

  11. Rhonda Cowsert says:

    Hang in there!! You obviously just haven’t found the “right” editor yet but you will and when you do, all these rejections will be fodder for interviews and encouraging other struggling authors. 🙂

  12. Heather says:

    Oh hgney, I’m so sorry, especially about the editor you really wanted to work with. But, as perfect as they seemed, that just means they weren’t the right editor for this work. This time around houses are being even stricter on what they accept because they have to with the troubles the industry is having. I’ll bet you’ve improved a LOT, it’s just that what they’re looking for has changed. That the fickle part of this career that sucks so much. Hang in there. Chances are your agent is starting with the big houses. There are a LOT more houses out there. We can’t all write for Random House and that’s okay. It will sell. Keep your chin up. 🙂

  13. Anne Riley says:

    Rhonda: You’re right, and I know it. It’s just hard to see things that way until something comes through! Thanks for the encouragement!

  14. Anne Riley says:

    Heather: HA! You can call me hgney any day! And yes, you’re right – she is starting with some HUGE names. Terrifying names, actually. And I’m totally fine with a small publisher. I’m fine with just about ANY publisher. Do you hear that, publishing houses? ANY OF YOU WILL DO!!

  15. Dean from Australia says:

    I was thinking more along the lines of “You Are Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera.

    Whenever I am feeling down I lay on the floor, put that song really loud and sing my lungs out. It looks really disturbing but I don’t care – I AM BEAUTIFUL DAMMIT!!! It makes me feel good at least.

    Anne – you are beautiful. Your writing is beautiful. It has a soul that speaks and draws the reader in with vivid imagery, thought and atmosphere. I feel that this is what a lot of books that I pick up off the shelf these days lack. Sure, they are polished, look pretty in the hand and achieve their narrative goals – but they lack a soulful core.

    I know these are just words of encouragement that won’t necessarily assuage your disappointment right now. But your turn is coming – it IS coming.

    Stay frosty…

    oh & btw…

    poodletweet 🙂

  16. Anne Riley says:

    Dean: Ha – I can just picture you doing that! My favorite girl power songs are usually either by Shakira or Rihanna… maybe I’ll put that on when I get home today. Thanks so much for the encouraging words… and the poodletweet!

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