Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Bump in the Road

Normally, I tend to be little Miss Shiny Happy Thoughts, but today, I’m going to admit that sometimes it’s hard to keep believing in this writing goal. And the funny, or not so funny, reason for this bump in the road is the beautiful rejections I’ve been receiving. They are gorgeous, incredibly complimentary, even going so far as to pull out specific lines that were powerful, and one included about ten gushing sentences about the specific aspects of my writing/story that were wonderful. Why the lovely rejections have gotten to me might be a mystery to some, but I bet I’m not alone in struggling with the feeling of being so close and yet so far from the promised land.

In one of the rejections, the agent shared that she enjoyed my story so much that, even though she knew it wasn’t right for her, she finished reading the full. That’s about the nicest compliment an agent can give, knowing how busy they are.

I know I’ll keep writing every day and keep working to serve my purpose, but I guess today, I just needed to hold up my hardship and say, “This is real and it hurts.” And share it with others who’ve experienced this struggle.

People outside the writing journey can be supportive but they can never really feel what we writers feel.

I wish everyone more happy days than sad ones and amazing friends to bolster them when the days are rough. I have them, some found via blogs just like this one. And I feel lucky for each and every one.

And here's to being on the other side of this bump in the road.


Lisa said...

I feel ya!

But you should really feel good about the GOOD FEEDBACK. There's hope in them, I know they are still rejections, but take it from someone with experience, even partials, agents give out form rejections. So the fact that they are taking the time to give you some feedback, and real compliments, is a GOOD SIGN. And maybe, for you, it really is just about finding that RIGHT AGENT.

For me, well, it's about improving my writing. It sounds like you've got something. Keep your chin up. You'll get there; I know it!

Jessie Sams said...

I think the nice rejections hurt the worst. I can take it if someone says they absolutely hate my stuff (I don't take it well, but I can take it). But when I hear that they like it but don't have a place for it, I start to wonder if anyone ever will. I've not made it to the other side of the hump just yet, so my story hasn't found its happy ending. But I've found happiness in reaching out and finding other writers going through some of the same things I am.

Reading your blog is so lovely and refreshing, and I find that I'm filled with hope for you and your writing journey. I can't wait to read the blog post you've typed with one hand while gleefully waving an acceptance letter in the other hand. :)

Laura Marcella said...

"...I bet I’m not alone in struggling with the feeling of being so close and yet so far from the promised land."

You're not alone! I hear ya loud and clear! Any rejection is difficult whether it's a generic letter or a nice letter. That's really awesome you've received such great feedback, though!

Julie said...


Thanks so much for the kind words and for the understanding. And yes, I am absolutely grateful for the feedback. The first project I queried, I received about a hundred rejections with no feedback at all (and only one partial/full request), so yes, I have experienced both scenarios. And positive/glowing feedback wins every time. I just think it gets overwhelming sometimes when you feel how close you got, but just not quite.

Thanks again!

Julie said...


What an amazingly supportive comment! And I really needed it. Clearly. I needed to reach out to the writing community, to those who have quite literally felt my pain, to gather a little faith to continue to believe.

And you're right about the feelings. When you get that close, you do wonder if you are ever going to find the right home for your story. I certainly have other stories lining up for their chances to enter the marketing phase, but after so much great feedback, I'm hesitant to just drop the story.

Thank you so much for rooting for me and my success. I feel the same way about the writers I've connected with and am every day grateful to have started this blog. I love how we root for each other to succeed and hold each other up when we're taking the tough hits. It's pretty incredible.

Julie said...


Thanks for the comment and for sharing that I am not alone. And I think that is what gets to me sometimes. Writing is a solitary task and opening those email rejections is not something we can pawn off on anyone else (not that that would help anyway). Because we face rejection alone, it's easy to feel alone in the process. But other writers are facing the same things, and I am certainly grateful for the positive feedback and was honestly shocked by how it affected me.

Thank you so much for the support. And I'm sending it right back to you. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

It's so hard to be so close. It's kind of like losing a race by the leanest of margins - being such a close 2nd is much worse than being a distant 8th. Your expectations and dreams are higher.

There's no way you're NOT going to be published. Your writing is lovely - your voice and your style come across vibrantly in your blog posts.

These are just steps on the ladder - you're nearing the top!

Indigo said...

It still stings. But I have to admit it also test our perseverance and our desire to keep writing. I know in my case, it just makes me want to prove myself all that more. I can't imagine doing anything else.

We're in this together sweet friend. (Hugs)Indigo

Julie said...


Thanks so much for your belief. It really means a lot. And I agree completely with your assessment that it is harder to almost get there than to not get there at all. But I guess, writers whose books go on submission but don't find a home have to feel that way, too. These are steps along the process that we all better get used to, cause clearly, we wouldn't want to be doing anything else. I know I've picked my rainbow to chase and I'm not letting that thing out of my sight. :)

Julie said...


We are all in this together and that is a very beautiful thing. And I agree, that for all its ups and downs, this is the ride I've chosen. But it is still wonderful to find such support from the writing community when the bumpy bits hit.

Thanks, as always, and hugs right back at you. :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I missed this the first time around and FEEL YOUR PAIN. Please hang in there. Something good is coming soon...

Tricia said...

Oh, she finished reading the full. I think those words alone would have filled me with hope for days before I hit the ground realizing it was a rejection.

Then, oh, how frustrating. It makes you want to beg them to tell you what it was that made them reject.