Well, it happened.
I feel like I am now part of a club. The Rejected Writers Club.
Yes, I received my very first rejection letter. (Wah. Wah. Waaaaaaaaaaaah.)
I had only sent a proposal, not my actual manuscript. (In case you didn't know, NO ONE will accept an actual manuscript. NO. ONE.) And I'm pretty sure it wasn't a good proposal. Still, it stung a little. For maybe half an hour I had a little knot in my throat. No tears. Just a knot. I didn't call anyone. I just sat by myself in my car (I was on my way somewhere when I got the email) and let it all sink in.
It hurt to be rejected. Even though it wasn't my actual manuscript they were rejecting, it hurt. But at the same time, I felt like I had cleared my first hurdle. I was rejected. And I lived through it. And at the same time, I joined an elite group of novelists who had received similar letters and lived to tell the tale.
I think I read somewhere that John Grisham was rejected by sixteen publishers before finally being signed. That is just crazy to me. How could anyone reject A Time To Kill? I'm a hardcore Grisham fan, so I may be a bit biased. But A Time to Kill is like... un-rejectable. It's beautiful and brilliant, and I can't begin to fathom someone thinking otherwise.
And I'm pretty sure James Patterson told us at the breakfast I attended with him last year that he was rejected somewhere around thirty times. Thirty times. That is mind boggling to me. I love Patterson's work and can't imagine if he would have thrown in the towel on himself.
I felt so humbled to be in Mr. Patterson's presence. Can you see the stars and rainbows shooting from my eyes? And that noise you're hearing in the distance is a choir of angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus.
I'm thankful that he has a story to tell. Not that I'm glad he was rejected so many times.... but that I can draw inspiration from him. And Grisham. And so many like them.
So one little rejection isn't going to do me in. And it actually feels nice to be part of the club.
But I want my own story to tell.