Writing Conferences, Querying, Rejection…again

I attended The Loft Pitch Fest in Minneapolis where I was lucky enough to pitch 3 agents. Each of them requested to see material, so at least that was positive.

The week right after the conference my family and I took our first international trip as a family of 4 and we went to Iceland! Iceland was definitely much needed. I needed to get away from the city, from people, from writing and from rejection. I can’t recommend Iceland enough. We stayed in a rural town on a horse farm. With coming from a city where I literally hear sirens each and every day, I can say it was a joy to step outside and see that there was no one within a mile, to smell the fresh, cold air, and to just be alone with my family and my thoughts, and of course gorgeous nature!

Now, on to querying. Have I mentioned I’ve been writing for 20 years? Yes. It’s true. I worked a journalist for many years before moving on to get my MFA in writing and started writing fiction. If I had to count the number of rejections I’ve received over the years from agents I’m probably at about 200. I hear a lot of reasons why. Yes, I’ve messed up a query here or there, a submission here or there, I’ve been told horror was hard to sell, I’ve been told a lot of things really why my manuscript was a no.

I’ve published 3 books in the years since I finished my MFA with independent presses. I just finished another book I’m trying to pitch, and I’ve written 3 other books which will never see the light of day. So, I’ve written 7 books in 8 years.

After a rejection yesterday I spent much of the evening binging on Oreo cookies and drank a bottle of wine, seriously. It’s hard. It’s hard to be rejected over and over again. It’s hard to come to terms that hey, maybe this writing thing will never pan out for me, I may never make a gagillion dollars from my art, and I’ll just be stuck navigating office anxieties at the day job for the rest of my life.

Of course my husband said to quit, if it hurts me so much then quit writing. I’ve thought about quitting – lots of times. I’ve seen people get an agent after writing for just a couple of years. I’ve seen people get fancy agents even though their book is incomplete. Is it all about luck? Maybe. Am I unlucky in this field? I would say so, yes.

I have so many positive people who are great cheerleaders, but honestly, I just want to be down right now. I think I need to be down right now and assess what’s next. If I want to keep doing this, and if I keep doing this – writing – should I take a different approach? Should I just post my novels for free on Wattpad or something, and just write for the sake of writing? Who knows?

I’m going to go drink some chamomile tea and think for a bit now.

Thanks for reading.

-C