It’s not hard to take the polite put-off

“It’s not you. It’s me.”

That’s how the literary agent who rejected my manuscript categorized it, and I think she’s brilliant. This is exactly why cowardly boyfriends use this line when dumping the boring girl/prude/clingy Glenn Close type: “It’s not you, it’s me” removes blame and all responsibility for explanation.

Honestly, I was sort of excited to open my first rejection letter today. In direct selling (my former profession), stellar sellers count the number of no’s because it means they’re getting closer to a yes. I can now cross Rejection Nos. 1 & 2 off the list. About an hour after the mail arrived, I got an email rejection, too, for which I’m grateful because I hate sending missives off into the internet and never hearing any response.

Here’s who Rejecting Agent No. 1 broke the bad news:

Thank you so much for sending me the proposal for your manuscript THE DRUM LINE: A MEMOIR OF A SEX OFFENDER’S WIFE. The work is nicely done [you hear that? “nicely done”], but I don’t have the passion that you need in an agent for their work to be done well. Fortunately, this is a subjective business and I expect that you’ll find an agent who has no reservations. I wish you the best.”

Rejecting Agent No. 2 said “this is not a project that is a good fit for our list.”




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