Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Humanely Quick Rejection

I sent off more queries the other day and a proposal to boot. The waiting is difficult, if exciting.
When we submit our work or a query we have the excitement of anticipating a positive response.
Requests to see a full manuscript are a thrill. How can they not be?
We pour our hearts, or souls, our research into the manuscript.
We hope that someone agrees the public will pay good money to read it.
Our thoughts are worth something.

Getting paid to write.
People paying to read what we’ve written.
That’s the dream.

Sure we might say money doesn’t matter because we’ve got something to say.
It matters.
What’s the point of writing if no one ever reads it?

Personal satisfaction counts for a lot. It feels good to write. Completing a manuscript gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
But we want money for it. I certainly do.
I want to see my name on the cover and the spine if a book stocked on a shelf. I want to go into a bookstore and point and say, “That’s me.”
“I wrote that.”

Meanwhile I have the anticipation of waiting to hear from a publisher. Maybe there'll be the thrill of reading the letter requesting a full manuscript.
Rejections are a part of the writing life. I know there'll be the disappointment of reading a "not right for our list" canned rejection.
It's a cue to keep at it, rewrite the manuscript, or file it under learning experiences and write another next book.

And that’s why I’m so grateful for publishers who accept email queries.
Two of the half-dozen I sent to last week took e-queries.
And bless ‘em for their thoughtfulness, they didn’t leave me on tenterhooks. One rejected me within the hour. The other in about three.
It's quick. It's humane. It's two less to hope about.


Crabby McSlacker said...

I totally agree about email queries. It's even better when they take partials and fulls over the net.

I wouldn't, like some people claim they do, limit myself to only querying places that do email, but it sure is a civilized way to do it.

Good luck on the submission process! Please keep us posted--fingers crossed.

Leah J. Utas said...

Oh, I'll keep you posted, Crabby.
Thanks for the luck wish.

Dawn said...

I know what you're going through, Leah. People think being a writer is glamourous. They don't know the pain of having something that you've sweated blood over being rejected.

Got all my fingers and toes crossed for your latest submissions. Keep believing.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Dawn. I will keep believing.

David L. McAfee said...

Oh, boy, can I relate to this one. :)

Plenty of rejections over in McAfeeville. I once got one twenty minutes after I sent the query, It wasn't form, either. The agent just said he liked the idea but didn't have time to take on new clients right now.

As much as I hated getting the rejection, I appreciated the speed with which it came. No wondering for me about that query. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Twenty minutes? Well, you didn't even have time to wonder!