On Rejection and Scar Tissue

Even though the days of getting mail addressed to us in our own handwriting are (mostly) behind us, we're all familiar with that sinking feeling.  I was at a point not so long ago where I would open the RE: QUERY email from an agent last (sometimes even after ads for extending body parts I don't have) simply to delay the pain.  Heave the big sigh, record another rejection over at QueryTracker -where my stats were starting to depress even my dog - and delete the form rejection.  Chin up.  Move on.

That vast gulf of darkness was punctuated by little flares of brightness - a partial here, a full there, long periods of waiting while one or two hopes floated - but mostly, BLURG!  So I trunked it - take that vile ms!!  Sit under my bed, you disappointing sheaf of paper!  I ripped off a new YA ms, wrote a query that felt electric (with the assistance of my AgentQuery beta reviewers) and started opening those RE: QUERY emails first - 'cause they were making me happy.

I recently finished reading Women Who Run With the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and want to share this excellent quote:

"Although there will be scars, and plenty of them, it is good to remember that in tensile strength and ability to absorb pressure, a scar is stronger than skin."

It's an interesting thought, and one that buoyed me in the Dark Age of My Eternal Rejections.  It goes hand in hand with my favorite cliched bit of wisdom - "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  It might sound like a farmer's daughter's tough-love, toss-off advice; but the funny thing about cliches is that they're often true.

So buck up.  Write the query.  Revise the query.  Send the query.  Get those rejections.  Revise it again.  Send it again.  And work on something new - 'cause every puncture in your writer's skin will teach you something.

And you'll heal.