Thursday, 19 May 2005

Loss of Innocence

I have officially become a writer.

Yesterday I received my very first rejection letter. It was not harsh, like some of those I've heard about, nor was it helpful.

Simply put: it said you suck and are not worth the paper it costs to write a formal respectable rejection letter, let alone worth the time it takes to offer the advice needed to improve your novel.

What hurt the most was not the fact that one day I will look back at this agent and laugh in his face at his obvious mistake. No what hurts is that I'm going to have to wait until that day.

Logically I can understand that as a first time writer, lifetime daydreamer and short story composer, I would not meet stardom or success on my initial attempt. But what drew me back to my laptop and what fuels the words that I write is that his letter was sent on a post card - in the SASE that I sent to him!

At first, I opened the package and was like, "Damn, he didn't even say he was not interested. He simply just sent my stuff back to me."

Then luckily the envelope fell on the floor, thanks to the gust of wind fate blew my way, and a pathetic excuse for a rejection post card slipped out.

I read it and tears flooded to my eyes, but I refused to cry. I am a writer, and I will not let the likes of an agent reduce me to tears. Especially one who steals the paperclips securing my two page synopsis and the first three chapters!

But unlike most of my fellow rejected writers, I did something about it.

I went back to his website, copied his e-mail address, and sent him a thank you letter!

Why? Not because he was environmentally conscious with the post card rejection, but because at the end of the day I am a professional. And like all professional writers, we get rejected, and then we move on.

Plus, one day I am going to laugh in his face.

I wrote this article at first to vent my frustration, but decided to send it to Secret Attic because if there are other writers who are going through the painstaking yet character building process of finding an agent, maybe this will make you laugh or more importantly keep you writing. Never put down the pen!

(c) Natasha Oliver