Friday, March 5, 2010

Being in the Game

It's been a hard year for my soccer team. Out of sixteen games we've won 2, tied one and lost the rest. In the beginning it was hard, and not just because we were losing, but because we weren't even in the game. Sometimes we wouldn't even muster a shot on net. To say it was discouraging would be an understatement. The second half of the season got better. We kept the goals against down, and even though we didn't score most games, we gave some teams a good scare. Now that we're almost done (1 game to go), as a team we've decided that's all we really want – is to be in the game.

I know agents are busy, probably more than busy, extremely busy (sorry for my use of an adverb). I know that receiving a polite form rejection is the best they can do and all we should expect, but knowing and wanting are two different things.

To be honest with, and you may not believe me, but I don't mind the rejections. I know not every agent is going to love what I wrote, although I often dream that they do. What I find I crave is more. I want to know why they decided to pass. Was the story not interesting enough? Were the characters not vivid? Was the writing bad?

To reiterate, I know agents can't respond to queries personally, but I just want to know if I'm even close. Did they hesitate to send that rejection. Did they think twice? Like my soccer team, I want to know if I'm I even in the game.


Abby Annis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abby Annis said...

I think that's the worst thing about rejections. The why? It's maddening sometimes. Great post!

Tamika: said...

I agree with Abby. It's the not knowing that drives you crazy. Even a hint of interest goes a long way.

strugglingwriter said...

"I want to know if I'm I even in the game."

Well said. This is so hard to see in ourselves.


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, a great big ditto on this one, Patti. I am with you. :-)

lotusgirl said...

I know exactly what you mean and feel the same all the while knowing it will never happen.

lauraabest said...

I never queried an agent I guess because many publishing houses in Canada will accept submissions from authors. When I was sending my Shorts stories to literary magazines I really felt I gained so much when an editor took time to scribble something on that rejection form. I knew then I was getting close. It did keep me going.

I feel your frustration. I've been there. I will be there again.

Robyn Campbell said...

In a perfect world, agents would send a nice critique of your novel with the rejection. In a perfect world the next agent you query would be THE one. But, alas, it's not a perfect world. So I feel your pain.

And the soccer team of yours? That next game will be the start of something super fantastic a perfect world. =)

Patti, thanks for your prayers for my Christopher. I covet them and I loves ya my friend. Happy weekend. =)

T. Anne said...

I agree, I would love to know if I'm even in the vicinity of the field. I have had a number of personal rejections but you know what? Those didn't feel so hot either.

Carolyn V. said...

I agree with you too Patti. It would be nice to know. Even if the secretary wrote a little post-ee and said, "Please go reread your how to write book."

But you are right, they are super busy people. *sigh*

Good luck! (Hugs)

Mim said...

Sometimes I do wonder why they rejected, but I'm always glad for a response. I don't take the rejections personally--I may feel differently after 100 or so though! Good post

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Me too.

One of the rejections I received last year was personalized and it was the greatest help. I'm so thankful the agent took the time to make suggestions.

Have a great weekend!

Jessica said...

I don't mind rejections either. I think it needs to be looked at as each agent being a different game. Form rejection means that we're not in the game for that particular agent. If our story speaks to an agent, I think they'll send a personalized rejection with some sort of advice or reason for rejecting. That's just my opinion though. Could be some agents only send form rejections or requests. Who knows?

It does help to get feedback, but sometimes it can be confusing.
Oh, you just inspired a post! Thanks. :-)

Lisa and Laura said...

Ugh, form rejections suck. The worst is when it takes months and months even to get a form reject. I always felt better about fast form rejections because it was a little like having a band aid ripped off. Good luck!!!

patti said...

Patti, once again you trump me with your analogies. GREAT ONE!!!!

Sigh. I can't stand not knowing, or worse yet, not understanding, the unreturned call, the hallway snub.

You are right. It is hard.
Sadly, it often is reduced to time, I fear. And not caring about treatment of those who can do nothing for you, who are under you on the food chain of life.

Blessings for tackling a tough topic.


Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, it would be nice if they had the time to tell us why they are rejecting us. It would help us improve, wouldn't it?