Then I get this email:
Thank you for your submission to [... ] . I was impressed by the quality of your writing, but do not feel the collection of short stories strong enough as a whole. In my opinion, you should focus on one story and expand it to a full novel. Short stories are difficult to sell, unless they come from an established author. If you ever come to writing a novel, we will be happy to consider it.
That's cute, right? I know it's still a rejection, but I didn't take it badly. I took it in my stride and just got stuck in to my other writing projects.
Last year, when I sent my second novel out to agents, I got all rejections. But my reaction to the big fat rejection was a lot more dramatic. I slumped over my keyboard for several minutes after reading the agent's explanation as to why they didn't want to take me on. They were polite (those who did reply) some gave very positive feedback, but it still felt like I was reading a sign in big red letters that said:
FRAN - YOU SUCK!
PS: BIG TIME
I ate lots of biscuits and I bored my husband senseless about how unfair life was.
Eventually I moved on. I started to re-draft the manuscript of my second novel. I also launched myself into self-publishing in a different name and genre and it's been exhilarating. Under my pen name I have a book coming out on Monday. No one can reject you when you self-publish. I love that fact.
So ... back to the above rejection letter. Yes I am working on a full novel, and yes I'll certainly submit it to you when it's finished. And no, I will not eat biscuits or go into a coma if you reject me again.
I don't suck - I'm working on becoming a better writer.