The Bully

12 Aug

I live with a bully in my head who says awful things to me all day long—despicable things I would never dream of saying to a friend, let alone an enemy (if I had one.) Yet I find myself listening with rapt attention to my tormentor, choosing instead to believe the negative rhetoric when I should be grabbing it by the collar and telling it to SHUT UP once and for all. It’s like having a personal Donald Trump in my brain. Even as I write these words, Donald is telling me that I’m a terrible writer, that no one cares what I have to say—that I’m basically a DISASTER, folks.

mean face

I’m sure my depressed state of mind can be attributed to quite a lot of recent rejection and the fact that I still haven’t found an agent to represent my novel. I was off to such a great start back in May. After querying some agents, several requested to read the full manuscript. I happily emailed my novel off to them, halfway expecting them to all say YES! Your novel is exactly what we’re looking for! Please sign with us!

Yeah, right. Instead, it was “While your writing is quite good, no one here is willing to take on your novel as a project…” or “This is not the right fit for our agency, but as the literary business is quite subjective, I’m sure there are other agents out there who will feel differently…”

We’ve all heard the stories—writers pasting up their rejection letters on the wall or keeping a file folder of rejection emails—or how now famous writers received hundreds of rejections before finally publishing that bestselling novel.

I know I’ve just begun the process of many months—maybe even years of trying to get published. As of today, I’ve received over twenty-five rejections—twenty five people telling me that they don’t want me. I know this is to be expected, but it still hurts. I will hold out hope that I soon hear from the one agent who liked my story and told me that although she had a pile of manuscripts to read, mine was on her list. She told me to be patient.

I will wait. I will keep sending out queries. And I will fight with everything I’ve got to ignore that annoying Donald Trump voice in my head.

That bully is going down.

fortune cookie

15 Responses to “The Bully”

  1. Betty Pierskalla August 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Aww, Jessica, don’t give up. We know your talent will be discovered. Do not give in to that “Donald”. We love you! You are a gifted writer.

  2. Becky Green Aaronson August 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Tell Donald to stick a sock in it! You got this. I know how good your writing is. DO NOT GIVE UP! I will be first in line at your book signing.

  3. Mele August 12, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    You got this Jess! Sounds like those agents need to be listening to the voice in their heads telling them to take a shot with this great story! I feel like you should start a positive ritual with each new “thanks but no thanks letter” that way something positive will always come no matter what the response!!!!
    Love you

    • Allegro non tanto August 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

      It’s all good! I’m learning so much about this process as I walk this path!

  4. babymook August 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    Wrapping you in a tight virtual/online hug. Look at it this way, you’re building rejection muscle. It will serve you in the long run. ❤ (hope that comes out as a heart)

    • Allegro non tanto August 12, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

      At this point my rejection muscles are huge! Thanks for the virtual hug!

  5. Liz August 12, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

    Jessica, I believe in you – it’s the system, the “game” that is flawed! Hang in there. I love the way Mele thinks… a positive ritual to reinforce the good, your goodness, every time rejection strikes. I, for one, can’t wait to read your book! xox

    • Allegro non tanto August 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

      Liz, thanks for believing in me! I will play the game as long as it takes!!

  6. Lynne August 13, 2016 at 6:27 am #

    Jessica, what a beautifully written column! It only takes one yes to get published! Just one!
    Let me know when you get your yes. Keep going and it will come!

  7. Britton Swingler August 13, 2016 at 7:19 am #

    I’ve named my bully Bridget, the one “mis-iteration” of my given name I’ve never enjoyed (I like actual Bridgets, btw).

    Bridget is capable, witty, and sharp-toothed. She can derail a perfectly great day with a few well-placed barbs. She is so convincing sometimes that I neglect to remember the fact that I can, if I am paying attention, obliterate her with mere defiance (she can’t stand that).

    But enough about her. She’s outta here! You simply must boot Chump-Trump too, if for no other reason than his hair, his hair, his hair. Nevermind the depressing barbs; they are pure nonsense my friend.

    You have what it takes. Keep writing, keep submitting, keep believing, and…keep expecting the perfect YES!

    That Aaronson chick is gonna have to fight me for that place in line! 😉

    • Allegro non tanto August 13, 2016 at 7:36 am #

      You kill me. Your Bridget sounds like a total lying bitch. She and Donald would make a great couple.

  8. Suzanne August 22, 2016 at 4:00 am #

    You can do this, Jessica!

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