I Like Everything…But No

Rejection day.

More than that. A TWO rejection day.

One was a query I’d all but closed since I sent it all the way back in April and had no response. That one hurt a little.

The other was a rejection on a full manuscript request. That one hurt like hell.

It’s not the first full request rejection I’ve ever had. Not by a long shot. But it never gets any easier. But if a query rejection feels like the agent is rejecting your pitching skills (which, I admit, I have very little of), a full manuscript rejection feels personal. They are rejecting your story.

This rejection said my writing was fantastic and my story was intriguing. My voice, however, was not engaging enough for middle grade readers.

Ouch.

The ever-elusive voice is a buzz word agents throw around a lot. But, ask them to define it, and very few can. The best explanation I’ve heard came from Laura Zats at Red Sofa Literary who said that voice is “humanity in a book–your book’s personality.” In short, my voice is what makes my writing MINE. It’s what sets me apart from all the other writers out there. Its why my story could only be written by me. If I told anyone else the plot of my book, scene for scene, and asked him or her to write it, it would look and sound completely different than the version I wrote. Because my voice is ME.

Can you understand why it feels personal?

But it’s not. I get it. I’ve been in the query trenches long enough to know it’s NOT personal. It’s subjective and more than likely means the agent simply didn’t connect. And that’s okay. I’ve read lots of books where I didn’t connect. Didn’t mean it was a bad book. Just meant it wasn’t for me.

So, while it hurts, I can do nothing else besides me move on. I will pout and sulk for a few hours, and then I’ll pull out my query list and shoot a few off into cyberspace. Because I will never ever write something that everyone likes, that everyone connects with, or that everyone will want to read. I can only write MY story in MY way with MY voice. And pray that I find someone who appreciates it.

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