I've had three out of four submissions come back rejected. Of course, this is no big deal. Harry Potter was rejected twelve times and 'The Help' a whopping forty-five times! So really, three is nothing to worry about.
But worry I have.
So I went back over my opening chapter, picking apart every niggle. I re-worked scenes that fell flat, removed unnecessary characters and changed them for ones more central to later plot lines. Thanks to another feedback session with the critique group, I tweaked the opening page to make it clearer. I even went so far as to change my main character's age to give her choices later in the book more impact.
And I do feel better for doing it. Which just creates more worries. What if those little changes could have meant the difference between a rejection and a request? What if those few little issues cost me an agent? I fear now that I was (and, quite likely, still am) under-prepared for submission. Even though I want to keep trying, a big part of me just wants to put everything on hold so I can edit, edit, edit all over again.
Nevertheless, I've gotten back to the agent hunt and have two envelopes full of submissions to take to the post office tomorrow morning. I've developed something of a phobia of the bigger agencies, I've found. After all, why would J.K.Rowling's agency (honestly, I've looked into them and everything) have any interest in a silly little book about a library written by a girl who works in a shop? And yet, here I am still writing to agencies with celebrities and leading names on their books.
Such a glutton for punishment.
My confidence hasn't been overly bolstered by my continuing inability to secure myself a real-world job, either. Getting back rejections from agents and potential employers makes for something of a downer. There's been lots of sulks and cheer-up songs blasted in the past week or so.
But on we must press. An agent can't accept me if I don't send them anything, right? Nothing comes from nothing, after all. So here's a little pep talk that's kept me going...