Sometimes I wonder if I’m missing a trick with my paucity of submissions to agents. Although I’ve six novels completed, I’ve only sent three submissions for one of those six in the last year, while the others five gather dust. I see several people on my Twitter timeline who mention how many times they’ve submitted that day, totalling hundreds per year, and perhaps they’re the ones with the right idea.
But what happens if you exhaust every avenue before you’ve even reached an acceptable standard? I defy any unpublished writer to accurately gauge his or her own worth and, should they feel they are able, I think it is more likely that they would overestimate it. – I remember the heady days when I was surrounded by people telling me I was a literary god. In reality, my prose made Vogon poetry look appetising…
Do agents accept the same novel coming back at them, year after year, each version a little better than the prior one? I’m guessing they don’t have the time, and I’d worry about the machine-gun method anyhow. – Yes, I accept I’m likely being too reserved, perhaps too patient, but I also feel confident with my preferred approach. I can say ‘perhaps I don’t produce prose of a standard yet, but I know one day I will.’
So I’ll just keep on building a portfolio, periodically harassing some poor unsuspecting agent’s slush pile. I’ll accept the rejection as just another step towards what I hope will be a positive outcome. And, if the day ever comes when I am accepted, I promise I’ll be every bit as vocal as other writers who proclaim their own worth to anyone willing to listen.
I just struggle to shout about what I do until someone of note is willing to shout alongside me.