Right, so there you are. You entered a contest, and now, the world has moved on and you didn’t get to the coveted agent round.
I feel for you.
I feel for you because I’ve been in your shoes. And what makes it harder is that sometimes those people go on to getting agents, and you feel like that could have been you.
It’s hard to be objective at this moment in life because you just received a blow. When you get cut from something, it feels like you were attacked. It feels like someone took your dream out of your heart and used it to park a tractor on. When I was rejected, I’d always feel like the world had just spit me out and keep on going.
I felt worthless.
I felt like a crappy writer regardless of what anyone else said.
I hated feeling so disregarded, because I felt like I was ready. I was ready for the big leagues. This is what I’d tell myself. I’d watch those contests trying to feel supportive of my friends and CPs, but in truth, I often had a sick green monster on my shoulder.
I know there is nothing I can tell you that will make it better, but I’m a writer and by default, I believe the impossible is merely difficult.
Publishing, the business side of writing, makes no logical sense. It just doesn’t. So when you get a rejection and you can’t figure out why a manuscript you feel is inferior gets the big agent and a contract in three days, it’s not what you think. Sometimes people win the lottery, but you don’t see them doubting their self worth when they don’t win the jackpot.
But with writing we do. It’s bizarre, but it’s part of writing. And maybe, just maybe, there is something that could be made more perfect about your manuscript. Or maybe your writing is Ah-May-Zing, but your story is a portal with a pretty typical other world. No matter how much I love those, no one is buying them in publishing, and that trickles down the castle walls.
Chin up. Write more. One thing about publishing: when you do get your break, the first thing they are going to ask you is “What else do you have?” Be sure you have something else, so get back to writing, even if your heart is feeling a bit broken.