So, I wrote a post about Michael Phelps last week and how he used rejection and ridicule (who's laughing now, twitty teenagers who made fun of him? Huh? Huh?) to spur himself on. I mentioned that perhaps we writers could take a page from ol' Michael's book and use that same technique when we get rejected ourselves.
Ah, the universe is such a trickster.
Because it was only a few short days later that I got a rejection from an agent.
This wasn't a nice rejection, where the agent makes a few pithy suggestions about how to improve the novel. It wasn't even a rejection that was signed by the agent. It was a flippin' form letter.
I haven't gotten a form letter rejection in ages. To make matters worse, this particular agent is known for representing many of the mentors and alumni of the MFA program I attended.
And I get a flippin' form letter from her.
The funny thing is, I found the letter in the stack of mail and I knew. First of all, the SASEs are a dead give-away and immediately recognizable. But I swear, the energy of the rejection was contained on the envelope itself, and I knew without even opening it what the result was going to be.
I whined and moaned a bit on Twitter and my tweeples cheered me up. And then I realized I'd written that post about Michael Phelps and loftily suggested we all emulate him when it came to rejection.
So now I'm going to. Watch out New York publishing world, cuz I'm mad! I'm angry, and I'm inspired and, just like Michael (I think we can all call him Michael now, don't you?) I'm going to use this anger to fuel my success.
Oh, there's just one drawback that occurs to me. Michael can train harder, swim harder, eat more calories for breakfast and go out there and break records all by his little own self. I can write harder, write better, send my novel out more, obsess about eating too much for breakfast, and I still can't necessarily achieve success all by my little own self. I need an agent.
That's the rub about the publishing industry and the film biz–you can put your heart and soul into it and still you have to rely on someone else to recognize your brilliance.
So I guess all I can do is do my best and work my hardest and let the universe, trickster that it is non-withstanding, make things happen.
And be grateful I don't have to spend hours every day swimming. I love my man Michael, but I'm the worst swimmer in the world.