Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What to Say when the Agent Says No

Sending out query packets to agents is a bit like applying for jobs.  I usually hear nothing back, which I assume means no interest, but it does occur to me to wonder if my materials got there at all.

Yesterday, I got an honest to God rejection e-mail from an agent.  I just sent the query on Saturday.  For a minute, before I clicked to open the e-mail, I let myself imagine that the agent was so enthusiastic that she had to respond right away.

Nope.  Sigh.

I think of my own experiences of receiving resumes and queries--so many seekers, so few positions for us all.  And so many resumes/CVs/letters that seem to be applying for a job other than those I have to offer.

But let me not get headed down that spiral of negativity.  Let me remember that some of my favorite journals, the ones that have published me before, are now open for submissions.  It's been a hectic week in terms of work--lots of initiatives unveiled, initiatives that make me despair, as I don't have adequate staffing and won't have adequate staffing.  It's taken some time and some energy that other work weeks don't require.

Let me carve out some time in the next 48 hours to make some submissions to literary journals that might say yes to my work.  Let me take some steps towards the future that I want to have. 

It's a bit like hanging glass baubles in the window to attract the light.  The baubles (the poems and other submissions) delight me as works of art.  That in itself would be enough.

But the process of sending work out into the world is a kind of light seeking too.  Let my poems find a good home, where they will reflect the light of the creative work around them, where they will then go out in larger groups to bring light to readers.

It's an interesting metaphor.  It's a plan to stay light-filled.

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