I have to admit, I'm getting kind of tired of hearing that. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me "Stephen King got rejected dozens of times..." or "Look at all of the people who rejected the Harry Potter lady (J.K. Rowling)," I'd be living in my dream mansion on Maui already.
It's not that those things aren't true. Stephen King did get rejected a lot (Carrie supposedly got 30 rejections)...and yes, J.K. Rowling did get turned down initially, too. Even Lady Gaga got dropped by her first record label. But for every one of them, there are hundreds of people like me who are still in that period of getting rejected wondering if we'll ever come out on the other side. Wondering if we, too, will be able to tell people to hang in there because it's all worth it in the end.
I'll be honest, this period can't go by fast enough...and it's dragging on for what seems like forever. Stephen King and Lady Gaga (by their own admission) did a lot of drugs while they were working their way up...now I know why...this period of people telling you you're not good enough, when you know that you are, is REALLY frustrating!
Part of me thinks that for every Stephen King and Lady Gaga, there are thousands of others who just kept getting rejected. In fact, I've met a few of them. They are the 45 year old waitress at the diner who is STILL trying to break into the (fill in the blank) industry, the homeless guy who sits on the pier in Santa Monica who believes that his big break is just around the corner. The question is...how long do you let yourself keep getting rejected before you become this guy?
Don't get me wrong, I love "General Larry Platt" and every rejection letter adds fuel to my fire...in fact, for every rejection letter I get, I send out TWO new queries, but it's just annoying that one agent won't really take the time to read my stuff unless it comes with a referral. It basically seems like unless you have an "in" in the publishing industry, nobody really cares how good your writing is...and if you DO have an "in" the same is true, your stuff gets read and published regardless.
For example, I never hear stories about how many times Snooki or the Kardashian sisters got rejected when they woke up one morning and decided they felt like writing a book...