Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Seeking Clarity in a Tangled World

By Kelly Pollard

Rising Above Rejection Depression

How is it that writers, who are often the most sensitive types, must build the thickest skins?

For the last year, I’ve crafted, tweaked, reworked and slanted queries to send to literary agents in hopes of selling my first young adult novel. I count myself lucky when a response actually appears in my email inbox; many agents are too busy to even respond. They tell eager writers that if they don’t respond within three months, than just assume rejection. And out of the rejections I have received, I’d say half of them were encouraging, if you could label any kind of rejection of something you’ve toiled over for the past three years as encouraging.

“I loved your writing style, but the story didn’t capture me right away.” Agent A.

“Although the story is intriguing, I feel it is overwritten, but I’m sure another agent will feel otherwise.” Agent B.

These short notes fill a folder of my yahoo account and gather as proof that I have been building up layer upon layer of that thick skin in order to survive and either send out another batch of queries or dive headfirst into the next manuscript.

Being a writer, I need to write. The business letters and concise synapses shove the muse from my office and I often wonder if I’ll realize the moment has come when I should print out the manuscript and file it away as that first manuscript that may never see the light a day. Maybe BLUSH is destined to be my organic lesson in the art of skin thickening and book plotting.

BLUSH queries still float about the publishing world. And since the last ‘nice’ rejection, I have tiptoed into the next project and compartmentalized the completed book to a tiny pocket of my brain. The water is warm from where I compose this first draft that haloes out from my center with infinite possibilities and another batch of writerly dreams. As I sit to compose a new chapter, I don’t think about query letters and agent blogs with faint clues as to if they have picked up my partial or full manuscript for a brief scan. I’m lost in my new story and floating on its dreamy waters.

Kelly Pollard is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist working on her second young adult novel while navigating the world of literary agents and publishing houses with her first novel "Blush", about a teen living with a cyberbully posting rumors about her on a social networking website. Kelly is also mother of two energetic boys under five who lives in the Livermore Wine Valley. Find more of Kelly at Reach her at

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