Nobody forgets their first query: the pounding of your heart as you are about to hit send, as well as the soul-crushing rejection that follows after a while. To me, that first rejection meant very little. It was like a rite of passage and I felt initiated. My first rejection would certainly not be the last and I bravely went on. But every writer hits that point where self-doubt shows up as you’re about to query again, whispering unpleasantries in your ear. And you never know how many more rejections will follow, which makes it all the more daunting to restart the process with a new novel. So, how the hell do you persevere? How do you stay positive after rejection?
Sorry to burst your bubble of hope and have it spill all over your new rug, but this is not a bad thing. Nor is it a good thing. It simply is. There will be more rejections than full requests, it’s NORMAL. We will shrug at one rejection and cry at another. It’s NORMAL. Summoning a dragon so we feel protected is also NORMAL.
There will be moments of sadness and moments of hope. And the only way to get through querying is simply by doing what you always do…write. The passion of a new story is what makes us write the best version there is. It’s what makes us find agents that might suit us and it’s what makes us bold enough to query. It’s not because we believe in ourselves.
It’s because we believe in our story.
So it’s not about staying positive but about persevering. Every story is a new chance, and every new story will be better than the last because we improve with each sentence. We write not so that others can shove some cash into our hands and call us awesome, we write because our stories demand to be written. And it’s that which helps us maintain the last bit of our sanity when querying. The fact that we’re writers.