A (very) (okay, not so very but it sometimes seems like it) long time ago, I tried to get published. This was the days before the internet, when dinosaurs ruled the earth and everything was done via snail mail and the Pony Express. (I kid, I kid. I never used snails. Too slimey.) In my opinion, it was harder to search for agents and even harder to find out what they wanted.
Now, it's super easy to find agents and what they want. I like being able to e-mail them queries; it makes modifying and personalizing my query so much easier! Plus, I can keep track of who I sent stuff to and when, so I know to check if my query was lost in internet space or it's still in the "give us 2 weeks" time frame.
Now, back in the Pony Express days, rejection hurt a lot more. I mean, who doesn't love getting mail and having it be a "maybe" for your novel? THE EXCITEMENT! Then to have it be... a rejection! Noooo. Plus, I was younger too. Things seemed more personal then.
I'm not a sunshiny, positive person naturally; I've worked hard to be more optimistic. It would be easy to get upset and depressed and think my novel COMPLETELY SUCKS or HOW DARE THEY REJECT MY GENUIS! But now that I'm (cough) older, I see things in a different light. I'm happy that the two agents who sent me rejection notes actually seemed to read my work. My novel isn't right for them but, hey, they at least considered it! That's something! Plus, this is not the hardest thing I have ever done. Sure, making sure my book, query letter and everything is beyond perfect can be annoying. It can be frustrating. But mind-numbing, life altering hard? Psssst. Nope.
So what do I do when I get a rejection notice? I take a sip of my water/tea/coffee/pumpkin spice latte and say, "Bummer, dude." When I have a moment, I look over my query letter and first 5-10 pages of my novel to see where I can make them better (the letter) or if I missed a stupid little mistake (the novel). Then I turn to my spreadsheet, cross off the agents that sent me a rejection notice, send out one or two new queries, maybe look for more agents who are accepting new authors and then get back to *insert household task here.*
Okay, I'm lying about the last part. I go back to Facebook to "network" or find cool stuff on Pinterest.
The bottom line? I don't dwell. I'm doing something I promised myself I would do with my writing: I'm trying. I am actively trying to see an agent for my work. And trying feels really, really awesome.