A few months ago, I posted that I was taking a break from my website but I didn’t explain why.
The reason was something incredibly exciting – I found an agent who was interested in representing my book. After a few meetings, I was signed and given some edits to do, which I threw myself into (hence the time away from this website).
To cut a long and sad story short, it didn’t work out as I would have hoped. There’s no bad feeling there – I learned a lot from my experience and I know that agents can only sell something they love, but to be honest this ‘no’ has been really, really tough to get over.
First of all, when I say I worked hard, I mean I worked hard. I was more than happy to do so because writing is my passion and this book was something I really, truly believed in, but to have all that work amount to nothing was tough. It was also embarrassing having to message people I’d told about the opportunity and basically tell them ‘I’m not good enough’.
But the bit that has been the hardest to digest, though, is how much I have struggled getting over the rejection.
Writing has always been my dream career but one I have also known is brutal to get into to. Big breaks don’t just happen overnight, especially not to those without connections or friends in the right places. I knew that nos were just part and parcel of it all, but this no has stuck with me to the point that I was almost afraid to write again.
I think it’s because it finally felt like my dreams were literally at my fingertips. I was in daydream city imagining my book on bestseller lists and being turned into a TV show or film, and then… nothing.
I grew up believing that if you worked hard, your dreams came true. Well, I worked hard. I looked for similar books to see how mine would sit in the market. I took on feedback from friends and family. I stayed up late writing. I re-read the same sentence again and again trying to perfect it. I stared at a screen until the words blurred and I couldn’t read them anymore.
And it still wasn't enough.
That’s not to say it won’t be what someone else is looking for. Despite this set back, I have such belief in this book and my idea. I will not give up on it or my dreams, but it has taken a little while for me to say that and believe my own words.
Publishing, as with any creative field, is so incredibly tough. Getting noticed is hard, especially when you don’t already work in a journalistic/publishing field or have a huge online following to support you. Rejection is quite literally part of the package that comes with wanting to write.
And rejection it horrible. However you dress it up or however many Pinterest motivational quotes you read, rejection is shit. It hurts and it is hard to move past.
To everyone working in a creative field, I see you. I feel the pain of every rejection, every comment someone thinks is throwaway but cuts more than they will ever know.
More importantly though, I believe in you. It takes a lot to have a dream, never mind to pursue it so fearlessly.
Keep going – we will get there.
You can follow me and my writing journey on Instagram at @jesskitchingwrites