Well, I can totally relate. I've racked up a total of 23 rejections so far over two novels. 17 were simple silence rejections at that. Of the six actual responses, the only feedback I received was a) my first and only snail mail query received a rejection on fancy letterhead and contained a typo and b) an agent telling me that, at 193k words, my novel was too long, that I wasn't Stephen King (since the novel is in the horror genre). I feel the bitter fear of failure a lot since I've started this process. However, that fear has forced me to make a choice: either give up or start breaking out of my mold and reach out. I chose the latter (for the first time in my life!) and found myself looking into online resources. I found a few blogs, a few forums, things that helped shape my attitude toward the process. It helped show me that failure in this business is normal. It also showed me that I wasn't alone in feeling the way I do. Just seeing that helped boost me up. I struggle now not with my writing, which I've been working on for a long time, but with this horrible bugaboo called querying. The perfect art of failure. Continuing to find failure here led me to this site after months of struggling to find help. So far, I see encouragement and helpfulness all around. I couldn't find it at other sites that purport to offer support. Here, I've got a much better vibe going. Lean on the community here. I'm finding support all over the place. And, as for your fears? Without fears, you have no reason to find your courage. Be strong. Those agents may have represented successful writers already but that just shows they're looking for the next big thing. Why shouldn't it be you?
Thanks Stephen, and you're absolutely right, there's no reason why it shouldn't be me - or you! It's great to hear about other people's journeys.
I'm so glad I've found JW - just the fact that I've had helpful and sympathetic responses to my panicky post earlier shows what a support this community is. I am looking forward to improving my writing and learning new tips on how to cope with querying. 😊