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Another "Good" Rejection ...

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Sorry to go on like this. I'm not just moaning, it's therapeutic, honestly. But today I got yet another "good" rejection. Sigh. Is there a pattern emerging here?

Thing is, this one was a biggie for me - my first (completed) novel, Hedge Witch, rather than a short story. It was with an agent who was the first to ask for the completed manuscript to read, rather than just the sample chapters. So it felt like I was making some progress. Plus they'd had the completed manuscript for months. So at least (I rationalized) they hadn't just dismissed the book out of hand. Maybe they even liked it ...

Amongst other things their rejection letter said :

I think you've chosen a very interesting subject to write about, and I think you write well, [but] I didn't find myself absolutely engaged by your execution of the subject matter, so I'm not the right agent for you.

The blow has been softened a little by those encouraging words. Oh yes, an essential part of being a writer is learning to find any hints of encouragement in what people say about your writing, any slight silver lining to the clouds. Meanwhile I've been through the usual gamut of emotional reactions : rage, gloom, fatalism. I'm sure they'll all be familiar. For a couple of minutes there I decided to pack the whole ridiculous writing thing in and do something else with my life. I could spend more time practising the guitar. I could play more computer games. I could enjoy novels without constantly thinking, Hmm, not what is the author doing with the POV there?

But, with the passage of a little time, what I mainly feel is determination. I'm bloody well not going to just give in. I can do this and I need to do this. So, wounds licked, it's onwards and upwards ...


  1. Simon, I sympathise. Two rejections within a week is a miserable thing, especially if one is for a novel. I went to your site and like the sound of Hedge Witch very much. Agents are as driven by personal taste as anyone else (as I'm sure you know) so keep sending it out.

    Have you tried sending it to several agents at once? That's okay as long as you let them know.

  2. Thomas,

    Thanks for your comments. I do send to multiple agents as long as they're OK with it. I find it essential, really, to have other irons in the fire as that way it doesn't seem like all is lost if (when) a rejection arrives ...


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