One fourth of the way to enough
When I started the query process for Red and Grey I set a number. It was the “enough is enough” number. In other words, this is where I draw the line and call it quits number.
Because, at some point a person has to realize that the manuscript they are pitching is not going to sell. I didn’t want to become one of those people who became blinded, tied to my project, and unable to move forward. Locked in a cycle they were unable to escape and chained to a manuscript that was long dead. So I needed to give myself an end date.
It wasn’t about giving up so much as about moving forward. Realizing this wasn’t the right project and choosing to keep making progress.
The number I set with the approval of my best friend and my husband was 100 rejections.
Today I received my 25th.
The rejections have varied greatly.
– form rejections
– very kind personal rejections
– requests for pages that turned into rejections
So, it’s all good. But today I realized I was a fourth of the way to my “enough” number.
How do I feel about this?
My emotions are mixed to be honest. I’m proud of myself for having gotten this far, and not being ready to quit. I’m disappointed by my growing pile of rejections. At the same time, I know that one day when I’m published, I’ll be able to encourage some other aspiring writer(s) with my binder full of researched agents with notes about when I sent queries and when I received rejection. (The binder is beautifully decorated by my five and seven year old by the way.)
Finally, I’m excited.
Why, two reasons – first because in the midst of sending those 25 queries for Red and Grey I haven’t just sat around and waited to see what happens. I revised and submitted a short story to a magazine and I rewrote a novel and submitted it to a publisher. (The short story was rejected, but I’m still waiting for the verdict on the novel, keep your fingers crossed.)
The second reason – I still have 75 queries to submit – and that’s 75 chances for someone to say yes they want to read Red and Grey and with luck represent it.
Will I still stop when I reach 100, even though I have proved to myself I will keep pursuing other avenues and new stories? In all honesty, I don’t know.
I love Red and Grey (the character’s not the novel). I would hate to see them relegated to living under my bed (figuratively speaking) but I might let them sit for a while and come back to revisit them in a year or two after I have 100 rejections under my belt.