Putting Your Hope Where It Belongs

By now, the entire world knows I'm querying Air Pirates and, as a result, am subject to the entire toxic cocktail of emotions that implies. (Seriously, can we nominate querying as a leading cause of bipolar disorder? That's how it works, right?)

But also I have a great many awesome friends both on and off the internet, who constantly tell me encouraging things. Yes, I most certainly am looking at you.

I got one comment in particular I want to share with you. A good friend reminded me that rejected manuscripts mean I'm doing things right (i.e. my query/story/partial is good enough that people want to read the whole thing), then said, "I honestly believe it's only a matter of time for you. If not with this one, another."

It was that last bit that got me. I love Air Pirates a lot. A LOT, a lot. But this whole "getting published" thing is not about Air Pirates. It's about me.

(Okay, that sounds totally narcissistic. But I can't think of another way to say it so I'm writing this parenthetical to let you know I didn't mean it that way.)

(Man, that was so meta.)

This definitely falls into the category of Things I Should Know But Forget Every Time Someone Rejects My Manuscript. I mean, I have 2.5 other novels written and solid ideas forming for two more. I get germs of ideas all the time, and that's not even counting sequels, spin-offs, short stories, or anything else I might come up with using ideas I've already spent time working out.

I believe what my friend said. Eventually, something will click. When an agent rejects Air Pirates, they are not rejecting me. They are rejecting the current execution of one idea I had.

I've got lots more, and so do you. If you can do it once, you can do it again, but better.


Sarah McCabe said...

I guess it depends on who you are and what you want. For me, it's not about me. It is about the story. I'm not looking for validation. I'm just looking to share the story.

Adam Heine said...

That's a really good point, Sarah. For me, the goal is traditional publication, so every rejection is a hit on that.

I do want to share the stories, but it's a bit more than that for me. I'm not sure what, exactly, but I know self-pubbing (which would be a way to share the stories now) isn't quite enough.

Robin Reul said...

This completely hits home for me, Adam. I think we all feel this way. What we write is indeed an extension of ourselves - it's our creation, our baby. And we willingly put ourselves out there, totally vulnerable, and have to remember that some will connect with it and others won't. But yes, a rejection does not mean it's bad - it's just not right for that person's tastes. The greatest gift is when someone offers feedback as to why. If I hear it from one person I certainly consider it and weigh how much I agree or disagree. If I hear it from more than one, it just simply gets cut and changed. I don't even argue it with myself.

But your friend is right - have faith that it will happen, and provided that you persevere and keep writing you'll get there!

Adam Heine said...

Thanks, Robin! And I think the way you tackle feedback (1: weigh it, >1: do it) is spot on.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

"When an agent rejects Air Pirates, they are not rejecting me. They are rejecting the current execution of one idea I had."

So. True. In fact, a lot of the same agents who requested AIR PIRATES will probably request your next manuscript (assuming AIR PIRATES doesn't find its special someone sometime in the next little while).

Victoria Dixon said...

Thanks, Adam! I really needed this today.

Deniz Bevan said...

Good luck Adam! I'm entering the query trenches myself...

Nancy Thompson said...

I know EXACTLY how you're feeling, Adam. I'm in the same boat. I've queried in small batches three times now, each time for about a month. A third of those came back as rejections. It's much easier now than it was when I first started. I barely feel those query rejections. 

The first rejection of my full manuscript devastated me. I had a few more & it got easier. I just received another last week, the best one yet with lots of praise, but still a rejection. Oddly enough, it didn't hurt much. I'm grateful my skin is so thick now. And though this is my first book & I know I'll get better the more I write, I LOVE that book.  It's my baby & I want to see it published. But I've finally moved on to my next project & am not as obsessed with the first any longer. I suppose I will eventually be able to move on from it completely though I don't ever WANT to give up on it. 

My point is, as an author, you don't WANT it to be the next one that makes it, or the one after that.  You want THIS one published, this one read. It's your baby. It's hard to imagine loving another as much. But you will. 

I keep thinking, if it's true & my next novel is even better, then maybe my first will have some hope of getting picked up at some point later on. But maybe by then, the second one will be my new baby & I will love it even more than the first. It's a process & each writer must move through it at his or her own pace. 

If you know your genre & your audience, if you've learned what's good & what's not, and you've done everything you can to make your book as good as it can be, then you'll make it. I hope it will be with Air Pirates, but if not, I still have faith it will be published even it's your second or third. 

The Writer said...

I'm right there with you! Writing isn't just about my novel, it's about my dream! Good luck with querying,and remember that you're not alone in your writerly bipolar-ness!

Heidi W said...

Well, I'd love to read it--and that what matters, right?

All that aside--it is about you. And regardless of what happens with Air Pirates, there will be other novels. So the only thing to do is keep querying and keep writing.

Adam Heine said...

@Victoria: You're so welcome. I write this stuff for me, of course, but with the assumption that I'm not alone :-)

@Holly: Thank you, Holly! It's always good to know I'm not the only one.

@Heidi: That does matter! I hope one day you get a chance to, but as you say, I'll keep writing and querying regardless.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

"When an agent rejects Air Pirates, they are not rejecting me. They are rejecting the current execution of one idea I had." -- That is so spot on!

Best of luck, Adam! Don't give up on AIR PIRATES prematurely!


Susan Kaye Quinn said...

When an agent rejects Air Pirates, they are not rejecting me. They are rejecting the current execution of one idea I had.

...in the current market where they are trying to sell things.

Even a rejection of a MS doesn't mean the MS is bad - just that it doesn't fit what they think they can sell RIGHT NOW. For all you know, they have another MS they just made an offer on that's titled "Air Pirates" about the war on terror - has nothing to do with you, and can still scuttle things (although they'd likely just suggest a title change).

I agree 1000% with your friend - for you, it is a matter of when, not if.