1. It made me question my ability. This one is pretty obvious. It is hard to hear someone say that they just don't think your book is good enough. It made me wonder if it is good at all. Will anyone think it is good enough? Will this book end up in the bottom drawer? Have I just wasted 15 months?
2. The schelp isn't over. For a few weeks there, I was starting to think I would be done with synopses, query letters, submission tracking tables, trips to the copy shop, postage, SASEs, and all the little chores that go with querying. Um, nope.
3. More money out the door. I am a very frugal person and I hate that I might have to spend more on manuscript copies and postage. I feel guilty spending the money, knowing that nothing may come of it. At times, it feels very self-indulgent. I worry that my husband (who is extremely supportive, both emotionally and financially) will finally look at me and say "Enough! Go get a real job and stop spending on a book that may never happen."
4. Admitting it. There are way too many people who know that I reached the stage of having agent interest, which means that I am (too) often being asked "Have you heard anything?" And now I have to 'fess up. Meh. In truth, I think this one bothers me the most. My pride is wounded and I would prefer to lick my wounds in private. Lesson learned. Next time, I will be very careful who I tell.
Like I said, I ruminated on this for about six hours. And then I gave myself a mental slap and reminded myself that this is just part of the journey. There is still another agent looking at the manuscript. There are hundreds of agents still out there. I won't give up. I can't give up. I remember the words of Randy Pausch:
Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.