(2018) I just received my first rejection letter from a queried literary agent. Milestone achieved. Now, the wait to see if there are any who think my attempt at a novel could possibly be profitable.
(January 2019): Make that three, and the time has elapsed where I’m extremely unlikely to hear back from any of the others. Looks like a failed attempt all around. I guess I just overestimated my ability.
(October 2019): I decided to submit to a new list of potential agents. Same result as before. A few summary rejections. The rest was silence. I’m giving up on this project.
(December 2019): I have completed a second novel, and am at the stage where it’s time to submit it for consideration. It would be my third attempt to publish something. I don’t want to try.
It’s utterly demoralizing attempting to publish. As I went through page after page of potential agents to query on my last project, there was a common theme: “over represented voices” aren’t wanted. Nearly every agent has an affirmative and celebrated bias against anyone who can’t consider themselves part of a protected minority. It would seem, based on this fact, that there wasn’t any market for products written by or for middle aged, straight, biologically male persons. Apparently, as a reader and consumer, I don’t count. Apparently, as an author I can have nothing to add to the conversation. My voice (as someone who fits all of those disfavored status epithets) isn’t valued and will only be considered if the result is guaranteed to be a colossal success due to some external factor like fame or political connection.
At this point, I’m again wondering why I spent so much time and energy on something that clearly isn’t of interest to more than two or three people. It’s a lesson I’ve learned three times now: nobody gives a shit about what I write. I enjoy it while I’m doing it, but the crash at the end isn’t worth it. Creating something without an audience to enjoy it takes a kind of self assured artist that is difficult to find in nature. I’m not really one of those. I’m ordinary in that regard just like I’m ordinary the ways that are currently disfavored by the literary community. Only the extraordinary are of any interest.