What is the rejection letter?
This is an optimistic point of view.
When any writer starts writing they usually do it for the pure fun of it. you will hope to and want to put something great out there. Make a place under the sun.
And then, sometimes it takes a few days or weeks or maybe a year or sometimes it is as quick as lightning : you get greedy. If you are not greedy as yet don’t worry you will get greedy. And if you are greedy and don’t want to tell me, no problem : all of us artists writers, painters, musicians across the world want the same two things : Fame. Money.
You want the six figure signing amount and the kind of fame that Harry porter has for yourself and your book and all the prizes they are giving away right from the America to the Arctic circle…..well, most of us shy away from wanting the Nobel because it’s even embarrassing to think to be totally blinded by one’s own greed but you will want all the applause the world can deliver without losing its hands! Trust me.
And you want the paparazzi everywhere except in your bathroom!
But like every diamond needs polishing before it sells for billions of dollars : you too will need polishing. With or without your approval or appreciation!
The world as a whole and literary agents in particular have taken up polishing of writers as a social work!
Remember the line we see in their profiles, on websites, directories and such other places: We do not take a cent to read your work! That’s the invitation.
I started getting my polishing some 17 years back.
Getting polished is a painful procedure. Have you felt an emery paper? Yeah, how will it fell if someone keeps scrubbing your skin with it? Yeah that’s how polishing your work feels to the heart and ego.
The most famous words in polishing/ agenting/ publishing :
I will pass.
Sorry, thanks but no.
Not for me.
Many thanks for your query. We are not the right agents.
Doesn’t it sound like that break up dialogue: it’s not you , it’s me.
I am waiting for the day when I get a letter that mentions this clearly : It’s not you , it’s me.
There are many more who take an effort and write 250 words. But thanks to all the computer technology that now agents only have to click a time or 2 to send their, ‘No.’
I will point out a letter here : it shows my desperation to get polished into a world class diamond and the agents frustration!
I sent 30 pages of manuscript number 1.She wrote back : No.
Then I sent 30 pages of manuscript number 2. (after 2 years of number 1)
She wrote back : No.
Then, 30 pages of manuscript number 3. (After another 2 years)
She wrote back : as I have already said No two times and then she takes out time from her precious life and goes on to mention the Titles of the first 2 manuscripts and their date of receiving the drafts and sending rejections. I did get the message that it is a NO and that the agent is a little annoyed.
Then, 30 pages of manuscript number 4: after another 2 years.She wrote back : I have already said No 3 times and this is the 4 th time I am saying NO. She mentioned all the previous manuscripts, the dates of all letters!
She was just short to telling me “Don’t send your diamonds to us we are not interested in them. God damn you!”
She didn’t say it , I didn’t see it. When you love something too much you are immune to what the world thinks of you. Same was/ is the case with me.
Anyway, I was amazed. She was keeping notes. God! At least someone was keeping notes! That’s me being optimistic. So I told myself like a roadside Romeo, “if you keep proposing someday she will fall in love with me.”
So till the day she gets a restraining order I am sending her notes!
Well, for all those sympathizing with the agent, think of my love and heart break and I am not complaining!
Of course she must be frustrated by me not giving up even after 17 years but then tell me : do you know anyone in this world who is not frustrated?
And here I am just trying to become a shiny diamond! And polishing it doesn’t take half the time and energy as getting polished takes.
So, I have noticed that time to get shining like a diamond just depends on your work. Sometimes it takes a few rejections and sometimes if you are not the kind to give up like me it may take years! But have faith you will get there : Fame and money because if you keep walking the road you have to get to the destination. Right?
The pessimistic point of view comes next.