There came a time (around the fourth full request rejection) that I had to accept that my book was not for everyone. Even now, I brace myself as friends and family read it, knowing that some of them will not appreciate, or maybe even want, to read it. Being at its core a violent, abusive story, there are parts (NO SPOILERS!) that can be difficult to read, as the MC spirals through her depression. It's not a laid-back, sunny day on the beach kind of read, nor a mysterious read, and definitely wouldn't consider it romance, though love is involved throughout, or a comedy, though the MC in my option has her moments. It's raw, heartbreaking, emotional, and at times very uncomfortable. So, as agents responded with "you are clearly a talented writer", "the writing is great, but...", "we enjoyed your voice," they all ended with "this is just not a good fit for me."
I have come to understand that in the publishing world, you are looking for the perfect match, a "Goldilocks agent". Each time I received a rejection, I reminded myself Still Alice (now a movie) received over 100 rejections - another one, The Help, received over 60 rejections - even Stephen King received over 30 rejections for his first novel Carrie, and we all know how that turned out.
Yet each rejection still gave me pause, as I wondered, "is writing good enough? is the story good enough?" It was hard to know, even with some of the wonderful feedback from agents I received, and the knowledge that it is a "one in a million" chance to work out perfectly, I couldn't help but feel that maybe I would never get my "one in a million". I had made it to SEVEN full requests, each time had me thinking "this is it!" only to be passed at the end. At some point, you start thinking, "it has to be me, right?"
So when I was told for so long, it's not you, it's me clearly realizing it was in fact me, I was completely taken off guard by someone who actually did want me. After two years, over sixty rejections, countless edits, an embarrassing amount of tears, and an almost given-up on dream, I finally found my person or people for that matter.
And to think I almost didn't walk into that twitter event. Looking back now, I'm thankful that I did not "hold out" for those last three full requests to come through before participating in Pitmad. If I had, this story would be going very differently. It was a last-second decision, as they most often are when meeting "the one" in a "meet-cute".