It's that time again. The time where writers sit at their desks refreshing their emails, cyber-stalking agents and questioning if what they love doing is in fact a complete waste of time.
...No? Just me?
Since my last post on the Patience of a Writer, things have...well, happened.
It's been 2 months now since I sent off my manuscript to my desired agents. I remember getting one reply back from a letting agency. within a week. My heart was in my mouth as I double clicked the email only to see it was a message to tell me that the agent I had selected was currently closed for submissions for the following month. But, that I could choose another one from their agency.
Unfortunately, the agent I had chosen was the one agent on their list who, from their profile, had a chance of being interested in Echo Valley. (You'd be surprised how many agents are looking for cookery books, which is a slightly different from a book about teleporting cameras, monsters and a haunted library.)
So my heart sank and the longer I didn't receive anything from anyone the more the depressing thoughts crept in on how my work may actually never get presented by an agent. And how that might in fact be down to my work not being good enough.
Then I remembered there's self publishing. And the reasons I wanted to get published in the first place. Just so I have a damn physical copy of my book I can hold in my hands, hand out to family and friends and maybe sneak onto shelves in random libraries when no one is looking whilst wearing a balaclava.
With this in mind, and the obsessive email checking driving me a teeny-weeny little bit crazy, I distracted myself and tried to forget about it. I completed FFXV's story, started drawing again, realised how much I was actually enjoying my job and all seemed well. And as always, whenever things start to go well or seem peaceful, in the corner of my eye on a screen I saw something pop up.
My heart returns to my mouth.
Not only was it my first proper response from an agent, but it was from the one, out of my list of likely agents, I thought was the most likely to want to represent my book. I won't paste the entire email to you but I will tell you that it was short, sweet and the majority consisted of:
I'd like to point out to those writers of you who haven't sent off manuscripts yet or still obsess over an empty inbox, that this is probably, from what I've heard, the nicest rejection you could receive from an agent. Most rejections are not far off simply, formally and professionally telling you 'no'.
The odd thing about it was that I wasn't upset. A little disappointed, naturally but not as much as I thought i'd be. I was just happy that firstly, i'd actually finally heard back from someone and secondly, that said agent had actually taken the time to explain more to me than just a simple 'no'.
It also gave me hope that not warming to the story might simply be down to it not being her cup of tea. Surprised as I was though, considering I thought this agent would be the most likely to enjoy it based off her profile.
As I close towards April and my inbox builds up cobwebs, I'm starting to look at the options and likelihood of self publishing. And rather than obsessing over if or not I will get represented, I'll look forward to the sense of completion and achievement of finally holding something I poured a fair bit of my melodramatic heart into in my hands by then end of the year.
As long as somewhere in the world there is one person that enjoys what you make, what you love doing- even if that person is you, then that's all that matters.