I had a depressing Dear Jane email today, a rejection from the literary agency to which I had sent a partial mss of my children's fantasy novel some 10 weeks ago.
As time stretched on, I had foolishly allowed myself to hope that someone at the agency had actually read my submission and was thinking seriously about asking for the rest. But of course I was wrong. They just hadn't got round to rejecting it yet.
So now I have to go back to the list of literary agents that deal with children's novels and pick another. I feel reasonably philosophical about this latest rejection, since I know it's a common enough thing for writers to get knocked back by agents and publishers, but at the same time I am still human and it is hardly confidence-inspiring. This is only the fourth agency to look at my mss, but since each one takes roughly three months to 'consider' my submission, and I then take another few weeks to do some rewriting and sort out another potential agency to approach, the process could easily take years. By which time I will have little enthusiasm myself for the story.
Of course, I should be hard at work on another novel, not worrying about the one I've already written.
But I have many unshirkable demands on my time, and poetry is uppermost in my mind at the moment, especially with this series of readings from BOUDICCA & CO taking place over the next month, so the opportunity to spend several hours a day writing prose is not exactly easy to come by. I do have an intriguing idea for another novel. Then again, my confidence is so low after all these rejections, I do have to wonder whether I should give up trying to write for children.
On the other hand, children's fantasy fiction is something I have consistently enjoyed reading over the years, so I'm delighted to be writing in that genre. Besides which, I love poetry, and things do seem to be going well for me in that department, but poetry alone is not going to pay the bills ...