Rejection is an incredibly difficult thing to cope with, especially as an artist. And because of that, I felt like writing this in case anyone else out there was feeling the same way I was about their own art and projects.
Unravelled, my book which a lot of you have probably read, has had amazing success...much more than I have ever hoped. I've had book clubs pick it up and even schools nab it to read and purchase in bulk. I am literally shocked by this, but seriously stoked about it at the same time.
Although I was once represented by an agent, this book was never put on submission because she never really "connected" with it. However, the book has proved otherwise to so many people. I have sold thousands of copies (which is nuts), have overwhelming positive reviews on Amazon and get messages from complete strangers telling me how much the book affected his or her life.
With all of this in mind, I felt the book could seriously reach a wider audience, so I asked a friend of mine in publishing if I should query it to agents again, and she said absolutely. She gave me a bit of advice, and I dove in.
However, when the rejections came pouring in, I began to feel frustrated again, like banging my head against the wall. I think what's worse is that there is no real constructive criticism anyone is giving me, or why they feel the project "is not for me" or "I don't connect with the voice." With an impressive sales record and so many happy readers, it seems like a no-brainer...I've even read success stories of self-published authors who have sold fewer books than myself, which the agents in question viewed as "impressive."
At this point, it feels like perhaps I should be giving up on it. Maybe it is time to throw in the towel and accept that the story is, no matter how many copies I sell, not "sellable" on the mainstream market. Still...there's that glimmer of hope inside of me that maybe someone somewhere will want to take it on and give it its moment of glory with a real publishing house and real marketing. But it seems so unlikely.
Of course, the advice is to just keep writing and maybe a new project will be "the one," but with so many rejections, it seems like it's always just for nothing.
4 rejections today, 2 on Friday, 2 yesterday. I wonder how many more I can wrack up!