Regret and Failure Fuel Inspiration: Writing Process

My dreams are of no interest to anyone but me, and yet they do tap into my essential understanding that life is an odyssey replete with failure and regret. I’m not saying this is anything new – the Greeks figured it out thousands of years back – but it is the fuel.

And so when I dream of being humiliated by administrators or being rejected by someone I love or trying to take a shit in front of a crowd, I am reminding myself not only of my fears but, more importantly, gaining access to something more universal. I am alone and know that will never change.

Anori is about that. And that’s what I want. Dee Sinclair is stoic in her isolation, eyes wide, furiously ready for what is to come. My job is to make her someone that people will want to know. And I am working on that.

No. Please try again.

I applied months ago; their reply looked like spam, another petition.

We regret to inform you that the selection committee has decided not to extend you an offer. Your application was given every possible consideration by the faculty, but you must understand that there are a number of qualified applicants.IMAG4318Please understand that your writing and qualifications simply do not measure up to our most fine institution. However we do encourage you to apply again next year.

Dear Literary Agent

Dear Agent;

Please allow me apologize for this form letter. Due to the great volume of literary agents wishing to represent authors today, I am unable to respond to any request personally.

I want to thank you for the opportunity of representing my work. I know that you have put a lot of passion into your professional practice and respect your efforts. However I am sorry to inform you that I will not be seeking your representation. It is vital for me to wholly believe in my agent before knowing anything about him or her. 

This rejection is not a reflection on you in any way. I realize that you probably will find great success in representing others and encourage you in that enterprise.

Wishing you the best in your future pursuitsfog walk1McPhedran 

Embracing Rejection: “Dear Author…”

Dear Author…

I was delighted to receive your query, and I have given it my most careful attention.

We appreciate your patience in allowing us to completely evaluate your material, giving it the ample attention it deserves.

Please forgive this impersonal note regarding your query.

20140217_103329Please accept my apology for this form response.

Apologies for not answering in a more personal manner; given the large number of inquiries, it is simply not possible.

We are a small agency and do not have the staff to critique everything we receive.

I wish I could talk to every author who contacts us. Although that is not possible, you can read an interview with me on the subject of career development on my agency’s website.

Please be assured that your manuscript has been read and thoroughly evaluated.

There are many reasons to decline a manuscript.

Under other circumstances, I might want to take a look at some of your writing, but I’m afraid I am swamped with current circumstances.

While this appears to be a strong project, I’m afraid it doesn’t strike me as a likely fit with me and my particular editorial contacts.


The extract was read with interest, but unfortunately we are not interested in pursuing this project.

After review of your materials, we must respectfully pass.

Unfortunately your project does not meet with my current needs.

We don’t feel that it is quite the right fit for

I’m afraid I wasn’t drawn into it to the extent I would need to be to offer my representation.

I’m not convinced I could succeed in placing your work.

Unfortunately your novel is not right for us.

I regret it is not a match.

Not for me. Thanks anyway.

It’s not worth my time.rejected_540This has nothing to do with the quality of the work.

My taste is eclectic and I am always seeking some balance in my client list.

We are taking on only a limited number of clients and feel that your work is not a good fit for our list.

As an agent I have to jump on those projects that excite me from the get go.

Please accept my regrets concerning your proposed submission.

Reading tastes are very personal however, so another agent may feel differently.

We certainly recognize that might well be passing up a good opportunity.

Your work deserves only the most passionate of advocates, and I am sure that with a book like this, you will find a good home for it.

misfit toysWe’re sorry for giving you a disappointing response.

We hope that you are not disheartened.

You may well become a hugely successful author, and this letter will become a document of our total failure to sign you before the lecherous hands of another gets their hooks into you.

We encourage you to keep writing and try other agents.

Best of luck elsewhere.IMAG3467