because, really, do we need to spend more time talking about something so evil it keeps you up at night? I think not.
A couple years ago when I first got the idea in my head that I should sit myself down and start writing — not wait the twenty-some years I always imagined I would wait, but start now — I didn't really give a whole lot of thought to rejections. Criticism? Yes. I knew it was part of the process. I did my time in photography school getting critiqued by students and teachers who gave the act of being critical a new name. Masochism. So yes. I know all about it. But through every creative channel criticism and rejection must grow. Lovely, right?
Now there are a few things you have to go through when you decide to write a novel.
First: You have to write (silly, huh?)
Second: You have to decide whether or not you want that novel to be read by someone other than your mom
Third: You have to get an agent
Now getting an agent is fun. No, seriously it is. You see this is where criticism and rejection rear their ugly heads for the first time. You're going to send out countless query letters and partials and full manuscripts only to wait and wait and wait for that "super agent" or any agent to get back to you and say: "This is great. BUT. Not for me. Good luck."
Fourth: You have an agent!! YIPPEE YEAH! Now your agent says, "Let's get it out to some editors at the most prestigious publishing houses and see what they think."
Here's where you nod your head repeatedly with your eyes glazed over even though your agent can't see you. Odds are he's in NYC and you're still in your pajamas at your makeshift desk with a child or two attached to your leg. Crying.
Fifth: Your agent sends an update email. He's just heard back from one of the prestigious editors who's reading your book on submission and his response is: "I loved this book. I read it all the way through. It's the best thing I've ever read. She should probably tweak this thing here and add this thing there and it would change an already brilliant debut novel into a masterpiece! Oh. By the way. Not interested. But thanks for sending it my way. Good luck."
Sigh. Damn rejections. They get me every time.
Now in case you're wondering what the Sixth step is...?
I'll let you know once I get there.