"Rejection is a gift from God."—Melinda
I don't know who Melinda is; I don't know her last name. This quote was related to me by a friend of Melinda some years ago when I was interviewing women for a book I was writing about re-entering the dating world after divorce. After her husband left her, Melinda had little luck finding a new mate and was disappointed many times in what she thought were potentially good relationships. When she finally found a man she could call her soul mate, she realized that the earlier rejections were necessary so that she would be available when their paths crossed.
I employed the same philosophy with my children. Once, when my then-teenage daughter was devastated after a summer dance program accepted her friend while placing her on a wait list, I consoled her by assuring her that this simply meant something better was on its way. Sure enough, one month later she was accepted by a more prestigious program and awarded a scholarship as well.
I have to remind myself of my own words and Melinda's story as I receive rejections from prospective agents. It doesn't matter how long you've been in the business, it still stings. But it doesn't hurt enough to keep me from revising and re-submitting.
The agents who turned me down are not the right people to represent me (at least that's what they say in their letters). I'm pleased because that means they are enabling me to be available when the right agent accepts my work. So, I am thankful for the many gifts of rejection bestowed upon me. Although, I must admit, the gift of acceptance would be appreciated, too. But, just like the right mate, the right agent is worth waiting for. I'm going to keep sending those letters out there until the magic happens.