You all see me as an amazing role model, right? Flawless, perfect, drop-dead good looking, always getting what I want, and everything else positive in the world? (I would go on, but you know how I hate to brag.)
Well, here’s some terrifying news for you: sometimes I too get rejected.
*gasps from the crowd* *Captain America points and laughs in the background*
It’s shocking, I know, but it’s true. My hair, for example, although it is loved and praised and admired 99% of the time, gets rejected (mostly by Loki.) I don’t understand it either, because I mean really, I’m beautiful, but it happens, and it sucks. The thing is, though, everyone gets rejected. Everyone. single. one. It happens even to the best of us. I always assumed everyone realized this, but I still see people struggling with rejection, not knowing how to handle it, letting those query form rejections get to them. So I decided to make a list of three simple rejection tips I’ve learned from my experience in hair rejection. That way, the next time you’re querying your book and an agent says no thank you? You’ll handle like a pro. (As I do.)
1) Don’t take it personally. You need to separate yourself from your book, just like I separate myself from my hair. Agents are not rejecting you. They’re rejecting something you wrote, and even “rejecting” is a stretch—they’re passing. They’re saying this is either not right for them, not something they have the editor contacts to sell, or tons of other unimportant reasons. Rejections don’t mean they dislike your book, and most certainly that they don’t dislike you. Keep the two separate, and only make vendettas when needed, like mine with Loki. (I would have one with his idiot brother as well, but he’s too stupid to be entertaining. A vendetta with him is a complete waste of time, the way I see it.)
2) Remember it is all subjective. It is a universal truth that my hair is gorgeous. However, some people, like Loki, are not willing to accept that fact. Whether it’s because they’re ignorant, jealous, or just don’t like beautiful hair doesn’t matter; the point is, not everyone is going to love your book. The Fault In Our Stars is the highest rated book with over 100,000 ratings on Goodreads, and yet with all that love, tons of people still hate it. Many people cite it as their favorite book of all time. Others cite it as their least favorite. Pointing being? This whole business of books subjective. Think of querying an agent like picking out a book to read; you both love YA, but maybe you’re more into action-oriented YA books and buy those, while others may prefer preachy contemporaries. Does that mean you’ve read all preachy contemporaries in existent and decided they’re all terrible, rambly nonsense? No. It just means they aren’t, for whatever your reason, your kind of read. So, I repeat: It’s all subjective. What one agent loves another might hate and another still might not have any emotion toward at all.
Getting back to the hair, most people like beautiful hair, but there are always people like Loki who don’t seem to appreciate it.
3) Remember why you’re doing this. I’m keeping my hair beautiful for many reasons. First and foremost, because the ladies love it. Second, it gives me an advantage over the other Avengers—well, “advantage” implies competition and the only time any of those idiots could be considered my competition is if you take my charming personality, the rest of my dashing good looks, and my complete and utter perfection out of the equation. Last but not least, I enjoy using my hair as a way to put Loki down and annoy him as much as possible. Those are my reasons. So whenever someone insults my hair? I remember those reasons. I remember why it is I wake up every morning and spend hours fixing my hair, and I remember why I love it—and why it’s worth it. Why a few rejections aren’t going to stop me. The next time you get rejected and feel down about your book, remember why you’re doing this, why you’re writing. You write because you love it, because you can’t not do it, so why should you let a few subjective “no thank you”s from agents stand in your way? You shouldn’t. A rejection mean little to begin with beyond the fact that just one agent isn’t falling in love with one book you write, so don’t make it out to be something it isn’t. Rejections are an opinion, and that’s it. Not a “your book sucks!” not a “you shouldn’t be writing!” not an “I hate you!” All they mean is that the agent isn’t connecting with your characters, or premise, or some little, subjective thing. Don’t let a rejection make you want to stop writing. But if it does, go back to why you’re doing this in the first place: because you love it.