Saturday, April 10, 2010

trust and rejection

so i got a response from the final agent with my full manuscript - a rejection.

unlike the last rejection, this one left me feeling a little blue, only because i really liked what the agent had to say about my manuscript and know i would be able to work with her.
however instead of a "revise for me" letter, she wrote a "revise and resubmit" letter. that is a GREAT invitation, because her suggested revisions are so similar to those of Agent Almost, i feel like i have a place to send the new manuscript right away if Agent Almost ultimately rejects it.

bottom line - she liked it but didn't love it. i figure that's not too shabby for an agent who says she only requests one full out of every 50 to 80 queries and only takes on about 1 or 2% of the fulls she requests.

i feel good about that, but i am now in a scary place where all of my eggs are in one basket. the pressure to make my revisions perfect for Agent Almost has multiplied by a thousand.

it has me reading my revision letter over and over and calling my parents in the middle of the night to bounce ideas off of them. but one of those late-night freak-out calls resulted in some AMAZING advice that i want to share with all of you aspiring writers.

i'm paraphrasing here, but essentially, my dad told me:

"Take the notes from [Agent Almost], consider them, then do what feels right to you. Remember, he liked your first draft. Give him a chance to like your revisions. Don’t over-think it. TRUST YOURSELF."

the "trust yourself" is not paraphrased. that's a direct quote and a rule to live by.

i have to remember that i am revising for someone who already believes in me, in my story, in the words that came from inside me. if i stay true to that voice inside, then chances are he will like what comes next. but if he doesn't, at least the revisions/rewrites are still mine.

i am not guaranteed and agent or an editor or a publisher or readers. the only thing i know i will have FOR SURE at the end of all this is my book, so it better still feel like MY book.
and i think that attitude will ultimately result in the best final product. after all, who knows Butter better than I do? ;)

so i'd like to take my dad's advice and pay it forward... to any writer struggling with revisions (for betas, for an agent, for an editor, etc...) just remember:

TRUST YOURSELF .

1 comment:

K. E. Carson said...

That's really great advice. And honestly, just do your best, and if this agent doesn't love what you can do, then just keep trying. You'll find the right home for your book.