It occurred to me about a month ago that all of the steps in the publishing process come down to one thing: personal taste.
You can write the most brilliant novel ever about sea slugs, and if you only submit it to one agent, and that agent happens to detest sea slugs, it won't get published.
Or perhaps you'll find an agent who is crazy about sea slugs and loves your chatty MC and thinks the story is wonderful, but when he submits it to editors, one editor doesn't like the chatty MC, and one likes the MC, but thinks the story is lame, and another just hates sea slugs.
And then if you manage to sell the book you have to worry about reviewers who hate sea slugs or chatty MC's or books with alternating points of view. And then readers... you get the point.
Every person in this world has their own set of likes and dislikes. I dislike books where people seem to fall in love/infatuation for no clear reason. This scenario drives me crazy. But there are a lot of books like this that are popular, so just because I don't like them doesn't mean someone else (or millions of someone elses) won't.
I think it's important to remember when you query agents, or your agent submits to editors, that in the end it comes down to taste. The agent has to love your book in order to take it on. And if one agent doesn't love it, that doesn't mean it isn't great. It could be the hottest book since Harry Potter, but it just didn't fit with that agent's interests. I think this is why we're told over and over again to query widely.
So there you go. Don't feel bad about rejection, it's all (or at least a lot) about personal taste.
Have you ever read a bestseller that you hated? Or have you ever read a quiet little book that you loved?
I was supposed to unplug this week, but I didn't. So, I'm going to officially unplug tomorrow and stay unplugged until a week from Monday. I'll miss you!
My goal during unplugged time will be to FINALLY finish this first draft. It's close. I just need some time to focus.