First, allow me to share a universal professional truth with you and the world: Agents get rejections too. Many agents also have writing aspirations of their own. They entered this industry as a way to help people reach their dreams because they understand how hard it is to maintain a professional writing career alone. They long to be a part of your process, a helping hand on your journey. But writing agents, like me, also have to manage their own dreams.
There are no favorites in publishing. It's all about the book. Is it marketable? Will there be a high chance for success? Does the author have a strong platform?
It's hard. Hard for us on both sides. For me personally, I feel the sting of rejection every time one of my clients receives one. Ouch. I really had high hopes for that one. On top of that, I receive rejections on my own books. Almost daily, negativity whispers, "Just give up." Sometimes that voice seeps into our very being, crippling our ability to feel brave.
I visited my beautiful cousin, whom I rarely see, the other day. She has been managing a popular makeup store for many years, and she gifted me with some products. I found myself asking her advice on application. It felt like we were teenagers again, sitting on the bed playing with makeup. She gave me two bright colored lipsticks. If you know me, you know that I don't wear a lot of makeup and certainly not lipstick. I usually use a tinted lip balm, but as I held those lovely colors in my hand, I confessed to her and to myself that I've never been brave enough to wear bright lipstick. I love it on other people, but every time I've ever tried, I always felt like a fraud. Like it doesn't belong on me. I can't pull off that type of BRAVE.
Somewhere along the line, I've bought into the lie that I'm not capable of succeeding with my own writing efforts. I have always found it easy to be someone else's champion, fighting relentlessly for my clients and for works of other people, but when it comes to my own, I'm timid and unsure. I'm slightly tinted lip balm when I want to be bright, beautiful, confident lipstick.
So, today, when I was feeling especially un-fierce, I painted it on. My first step to feeling brave.
Regain Your Fierce
Next time you're feeling stuck in the pit of rejection, remember the millions of amazing people who are standing next to you. Every single successful person you've ever known has stood in your shoes. Want to know what success looks like? It looks like a road paved with rejection letters that ends with your destiny. Every "no" is one more step towards your "yes."
Take a step with me? I promise to hold you up, should you stumble, if you'll promise to do the same. We're all in this together--from every aspect of the industry.
Breathe some life-giving words into someone today. ❤
Vanessa K. Eccles
Books, life, and travel.
Author of FABLED, RED RIBBONS, and OF LOVE & LEGEND // Founder of The Faithful Creative Magazine