The eternally-wise “they” say that you get rejected 99 times before you get a buy in on your novel or submitted piece of work. But even knowing this intellectually, getting a pass on a manuscript still sucks. For me, the first couple were a particular drag.
It’s like getting dumped after the first date.
On one hand, thanks! Thank you for not wasting either of our time trying to make work a relationship that ultimately isn’t a good fit. You’re going to have to show me off to all of your friends and family (agency and editors) and if they’re going to say, “but why are you with her” then it’ll be awkward for both of us.
On the other hand, LOVE ME! I want you to loooove meeeeee.
Obviously, this isn’t a perfect metaphor. There’s a whole lot more, different skin in the game with a romantic relationship. Different stakes, different feelings, different future considerations.
My well-meaning and loving family and friends are all very encouraging with the “oh you’ll get picked up soon! We’ll see your book in the library next year, right?” Bless their well-meaning hearts.
I’m just at the beginning of this minefield, 97 rejections to go. I am lucky in that I received careful consideration from both, so that’s a big deal. I didn’t just get auto-rejected or condemned to eternal slush pile life, which happens and will probably happen to me.
In the mean time, I have my super supportive friends and family to get me through the rejections. And wine.