We all get rejections in life. Writers deal with it on an almost daily basis. So do agents.
And there's no denying that it hurts, whether you're the writer or the agent.
When I send out books for my clients, every single rejection pings against me a little. Some of them I get really mad at, and my computer gets to enjoy some choice words. Some of them I'm just sad about. And some of them I expect, but you never like knowing that you're going to get bad news.
What's almost worse, but not quite, is having to tell your clients that they've been rejected somewhere. Because even though it's part of the job territory, it is never, ever fun to break bad news, and especially not to someone whose work you believe in.
Earlier this week, while I struggled to find something to do when Zoe was ill, I sent out a novel for one of my clients.
She was overjoyed. Thrilled, to say the least. And I was happy for her, not only because she's a good friend, but because I knew how much this meant to her, and how proud she was. She knows that there will be rejections down the road, and I tried to inject the tiniest bit of realism into her celebration that the book was going off to editors. But she told me to let her enjoy the moment, and you know what? She was right. =)
There'll always be rejections in life, but if you hang on to the good bits, it gets you through the bad ones.
Although I have to say, nothing stings as much as when you e-mail a short story to your mother and she writes back, "I hated it." Thanks, mom.
(Don't bash my mom, by the way, since I appreciate her opinion, and hey, it precipitated a blog post.)
So, getting back to my mom hating my short story...
I fumed. I typed angry messages to my friends through IM. I grumbled about how it has to be in the parent handbook that they like everything you write.
And then I e-mailed it off to a magazine. Because even though I fully expect to get rejected (I always do, by the way), if it does get picked up for publication... I will have the sweet satisfaction of knowing that I was right. =)