Every two weeks or so, I meet up with my friend, and fellow author, to discuss all things literary, and on occasion put the world to rights.
We are in similar boats at the moment. She has written a non-fiction novel and is approaching agents and publishers in order to get her manuscript published. I have read various chapters of her novel, and I know the general themes and outcome, and I really believe it to be a compelling and profound read and yet she keeps receiving rejections (or RJs, as she calls them) from the agents and publishers.
I don't like it that she's getting RJs, as she's worked so hard on the book and she really has something to say and a very pertinent point to make with what she's written. But it doesn't make me feel so bad when I get my RJs.
I know no-one likes getting rejection letters, but when you get them, sometimes it feels like you're the only one. I know that's quite a self-indulgent thought, but it's true. You may only have that thought for a few moments, but your confidence still gets knocked and you do question whether or not you should give up.
After receiving my RJs (I have four), friends told me not to give up. They drew my attention to extremely famous authors and famous books that were rejected numerous times before being snapped up. Knowing that has happened to some of the greats did make me feel better, but it didn't spur me on to send off my manuscript to more agents.
I know I'm lazy and I know I procrastinate, but the defeatist in me likes to rise up every now and then just to drag my spirits down. "Four people don't want you. What makes you think anyone will? Don't waste your time." And, stupidly, I believe it. But I also know it's not true.
Initially I think I sent a synopsis and my first 30 pages to about eight or nine agents. I had no problem with that. I have about 10 more that I want to send off to, but all of them want a one page synopsis, and that is my Everest. I've never been very good at being concise, and after a lot of struggling I managed to get my synopsis to fit onto two pages; I'm not sure I can shrink it down to just one page. Admittedly I haven't tried, but defeatists generally don't try, do they?
While I was writing my book, she would text me to check that I was actually typing away and not just sitting in front of the television, avoiding my responsibilities as an author. Most of the time I was squirreling away at my computer, but it was helpful to have her support and encouragement, and a virtual boot up the backside!
So recently I've been playing the waiting game, and not being as active as I probably should have been with regards to finding agents. But after meeting up with her today I have had a burst of enthusiasm to get on and sort out the dreaded one page synopsis so that I can bombard more agents with my awesome writing. Which I will do. Tomorrow.