My mailbox today brought me the news that my next story is not right for another agent list. I’m getting used to it now. I’m told that these rejections are badges of honour and that everybody gets them. It is almost a case of the more rejections, the better. Perhaps like people who fail their driving test are meant to make better drivers in the long run? I failed my test twice (once for driving along the pavement!). Maybe this is an omen?
Fortunately, yesterday I had two other bits of feedback on my writing that totally outweigh the rejection today. Someone contacted me to let me know that they bought Amelie and the Great Outdoors for the daughter of a friend. The little girl loves it and it is a frequent request at bedtime. I also heard of a ‘reluctant reader’ with ADHD who often choses Amelie as a book to read himself before he goes to sleep. He loves picking out the detail in the illustrations (thank you Rosie Brooks!) and finds that the level of language is enough to keep him interested without being too challenging and frustrating. He gets satisfaction from reading a complete story himself.
Feedback like this is gold dust. These are my target readers and they like what I write. I know that they would like my other stories, including the one rejected today. I believe in it. I have listened to advice and worked hard to craft it into something I’m proud to have written. Of course, I would still love to find a grown-up agent who likes it too and who can help me reach more early readers. In the meantime, I am very content to have struck a chord with some of them. That makes me believe that my next story will be out in the world one day soon.