By the end of November 2011 I was now visiting the gym three mornings a week to walk on the running machine as I tried to get myself into a new routine. The one I had been following while I was writing had stopped as abruptly as the writing.
I found the walking was helping in my recovering from the terrible spinal injury I had suffered earlier in the year and now I was going to find out that it would also help me mentally too.
I had spent three weeks earlier in the month sending out my manuscript to agents, fifteen in total, and had convinced myself they would be fighting over the rights to sign me: then the first reply came through the letter box!
I looked at the large white A4 envelope on the doormat like a child on his birthday that had just received a bundle of cards. I knew the hand-writing on the envelope; it was me who had written the address. I knew it was a reply from an agent, one which had stated that replies would only be provided along with a self-addressed envelope.
I was so excited. Here it is. The first agent wanting my signature, I opened it and my eyes went to the first line.
Dear Mr so and so,
Thank you for approaching us to be your agent but on this occasion we believe this story would not fit our present portfolio.
My heart sunk and my soul felt as if it had been crushed by a falling building.
The letter carried on but I didn’t want to read any further. My soul was crushed.
The next day I was pacing myself through my 45 minute walk on the running machine and the thought struck me like a slap around the face. If I was an agent and I wanted to snap up some hot-shot new writer who had written to me, I would phone then a.s.a.p before another agent snapped them up. I wouldn’t wait for the time delay in writing back as you could lose them to a competitor.
Over the next few weeks as the white A4 envelopes, and in a couple of cases emails, came through my door with my hand written address my heart would sink, for I knew it would be a rejection.
I was glad I had started to go back to the gym so I could walk-out my disappointment and to have time to think what my next approach would be and what path I would have to take to get myself published.