One fourth of the way to enough
When I started the query process for Red and Grey I set a number. It was the â€œenough is enoughâ€ 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 didnâ€™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 wasnâ€™t about giving up so much as about moving forward. Realizing this wasnâ€™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, itâ€™s all good. But today I realized I was a fourth of the way to my â€œenoughâ€ number.
How do I feel about this?
My emotions are mixed to be honest. Iâ€™m proud of myself for having gotten this far, and not being ready to quit. Iâ€™m disappointed by my growing pile of rejections. At the same time, I know that one day when Iâ€™m published, Iâ€™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, Iâ€™m excited.
Why, two reasons â€“ first because in the midst of sending those 25 queries for Red and Grey I havenâ€™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 Iâ€™m still waiting for the verdict on the novel, keep your fingers crossed.)
The second reason â€“ I still have 75 queries to submit â€“ and thatâ€™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 donâ€™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.