Yesterday started out much like any other day, I woke up did all of my morning stuff and then I headed out for what I imagined would be a rather normal day. That was my first mistake of the day; being too comfortable.
I’m going to paint a picture of my day so that you can imagine it for yourself.
At some point in my morning, I unlock my phone and open up my mail app. Sometimes I do this if I’m bored or don’t know what better to do. It’s become a nasty little habit. This is one of those times so naturally, I’m not expecting much. What I have forgotten, though, is the fact that I haven’t sat down in front of my computer yet and that I haven’t actually checked my emails.
I quickly scroll past all of the junk mail in search of any important or interesting emails to read when my eye catches the name of the first agency I sent my query letter to. Before my mind can properly register what it has seen I’ve opened the email and I’m reading the rejection letter before I even know what it is.
When I realise what I’m reading, I stop, show the phone to Matt and then ignore everything else around me and carry on reading.
It is a very nice rejection letter and an admittedly generic one from the literary agency themselves with no actual feedback. Even the signature had all three agents names in and not just the one I addressed my letter to originally. Besides this, it is a nice rejection letter (I never thought I’d hear myself say those words).
At first, I think – yes, well I expected rejection. And then my mind says, you don’t want it though. You didn’t really expect it. You thought it to be inevitable but you didn’t prepare yourself for it and definitely not so soon. Because even though rejection is inevitable we are still optimistic.
So, how did I really feel receiving my first rejection letter?
I felt ugh. Not so great. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. I started to ask myself why? Then, naturally, my mind was flooded by thoughts that maybe I should change this or that? Mostly though, I felt completely unprepared for this letter. I wasn’t expecting this email yesterday and it threw me off a little.
It shocked me.
How to recover from your first rejection letter?
Wine. Wine. Wine. Drink it. Drink a lot of it. No, I’m just joking. Well, kind of. There was wine drank but I think what’s even more important than wine is a fantastic support system and an honest support system.
Hearing that someone else understands exactly how you feel, as difficult as it is to put down in words makes me feel less alone in my struggle. And then having an amazing friend who brings you back to your worst case scenario and if you’re happy with that scenario then you haven’t lost anything. These are the things that get us through rejection.
Rejection and disappointment (because they go hand-in-hand) are two very horrible words in the English dictionary. Both words have so much emotion attached to them that we often carry with us once we have been rejected or disappointed. We are so unfair to ourselves. Why do we do this? I know I’m not the only one that does.
The most important lesson I learnt
The most important lesson I learnt through receiving this rejection letter yesterday was that the world is full of disappointment and rejection. What makes us succeed is not giving up. I could easily give up but I won’t because I want my story to be read. I want my book to be published.
I won’t stop trying! And I know that you’ve been rejected and disappointed too. Maybe not today, or yesterday, but you have. I hope you didn’t give up? It’s easy giving up even though it doesn’t feel easy. If you did, it’s not too late to give it another go. I’m doing exactly that.