What hurts the most

I heard this song on the radio the other day and it instantly clicked for me.  This is exactly how I’ve been feeling during the querying process (by which I mean, for the non-writers out there, the agent search).

Thank you to Rascal Flatts for the a propos song, and for the minor liberties I’m taking with the lyrics (only in the 4th and 7th lines):

What hurts the most
Was being so close
And havin’ so much to say
And readin’ your “go away”.

And never knowin’
What could’ve been
And not seein’ that workin’ with you
Is what I was tryin’ to do.

 I agree that what hurts the most is being so close.  Personalized emails and feedback are awesome and I’m so thankful that so many agents liked my work enough to say more than just “no thank you”. 

But… (and there is a but…).  No is still no.  I can ignore the form rejection emails and the no responses.  I can pretend that they didn’t connect with the concept.  But those that liked the concept enough to request pages, and then liked the pages enough to tell me so can’t be ignored.  They leave me with questions.  Like, why didn’t he like the voice?  Or, did the beginning jump too quickly into the story for her?  Or, she really wants the beginning to be even more horrific?  Or why did he say he really enjoyed it but didn’t feel enough of a spark?


So back to the drawing board for now.  I’m upping the tension and going deeper into many of the characters.  Then I’ll be back on this rollercoaster again.  And singing “What hurts the most”.  Again.  Until I’m not.  Until I’m doing a happy dance.  And I will.




Filed under Getting Published, writing

4 responses to “What hurts the most

  1. Ugh, I’m so there! Any personalized feedback is a sure sign you’re heading in the right direction!

  2. I hear you. I’m feeling discouraged these days too, and I haven’t even had the personalized rejections you’ve had the dubious pleasure of receiving. Just goes to show how close you are.

  3. Vicki,

    This is such a long and winding road, isn’t it? (Sorry, another song reference.) But being this close, you may need to just find someone who believes in the story as much as you do. Upping the tension is always good, as is digging deeper. The better the manuscript is, the more likely it is to make that connection for you, but in the end, it could still come down to a numbers game. Hang in there, and don’t get discouraged. You obviously have something special to have come so close!



    • vtremp

      Thanks Laura, Suzanne and Martina for your comments and support. This is a long and winding road, but I know the reward at the end will be worth it. Hang in there, Everyone! The key is persistence.

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