What’s that? you might be saying, You’re happy?
Well I am, in a way. It was a long shot—I didn’t think this agent (TA) would be interested, but on the other hand TA might have been, claiming a broad range of tastes. So I didn’t want to rule it out, when there was a possibility. Plus, just like the mere act of handing my manuscript over to readers magically gave me a little more objectivity, the rejection did too.
For a moment there, I could see my query through TA’s eyes: a little too girly, a little too downtrodden kid. (Or I could just be projecting.) And that’s ok, because in some ways my story is about that, and I want an agent and an editor who has that indefinable connection to my work. The same way I’ll inevitably pick up the same books in the library or bookstore again and again, because the title or the art on the cover gives me that connection.
And I’ll admit to two more ulterior motives here. Like pulling a band-aid off fast, I wanted to get it over with. And TA is known for responding quickly. Quicker than you would believe: according to gmail, 1 minute. I wanted to see if TA really was as quick as claimed. Impressively so, while claiming on his/her blog to actually read everything she/he responds to.
Oh wait, there’s one more: it’s a badge of honor. You can’t be rejected unless you send your work out. And I have. I finished the book. I revised until I was sick of it and then I revised it some more. I listened to my readers and made some more changes. I worked on the synopsis until I really was sick of it. And then I started sending it out. I’ve already made it further than 80% of would-be writers. This rejection is just one tiny step on the path to success.
So there it is. My first rejection. It hurt, but it also feels great.