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On May 28, 2007 I sent out my first ever query letter for my very first manuscript, which I began writing in Fall 2005. The manuscript and the query were not good. Actually, I cringed while re-reading the query before writing this post, so it was very not good.
But I didn’t know that at the time. When I sent out that query letter, I was sure the book and the letter were amazing and I had dreams of getting published and maybe if I was lucky a movie deal, and I can laugh at my past self now, but at the time, they were legitimate feels.
And the rejections I got for that query and manuscript legitimately sucked.
In 2007, self-publishing wasn’t what it is today—something I’m so ridiculously grateful for. Because if it was? I might’ve published it. And I was so not ready for that.
The thing is, looking back, I’m grateful for those rejections. Because yeah, they sucked, and I’m pretty sure I cried over a couple of them, and at the time it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. But now, nine manuscripts and seven years later, I can’t imagine debuting with any of the manuscripts I once thought were going to be it (except maybe one).
I’m grateful for nearly seven years of rejections because quite frankly, I wasn’t ready. I still had so much more to learn about writing and the publication process and what makes a good book and how to write a decent antagonist and so many things that are so essential to writing a captivating novel. But I didn’t know that then. I thought I was ready then.
I was wrong.
To be fair, I still have loads more to learn—I’m of the belief that writers are never done learning. But my point is, while all those rejections hurt in the moment, they were worth it. Because they pushed me to do better. They motivated me to keep learning. And they taught me I’m so much stronger than I ever thought I was.
I don’t regret a single query letter. I’m grateful for the nos that brought me to where I am today. Because when I did finally hear the yes I’d been dreaming about for years? It sounded that much more incredible.
Writer @Ava_Jae shares why she’s grateful for 6+ years of query rejections. (Click to tweet)
Are you grateful for your query rejections? Here’s why one writer says she is. (Click to tweet)