In my continued search for representation I’m researching the swiftly changing market and agents who represent my genres. Part of that work is battling the dreaded rejection dragon. It’s difficult to take a chance, knowing that the work of my heart may be rejected.
Watering my daisies this morning, I noticed more stubborn puncturevine weeds had grown beside the large pots. Known for their punishing thorns, strong enough to puncture tires, dog’s paws and tender toes, they’re amazingly prolific. This plant produced over fifty of those wicked thorns.
The puncturevine is never welcome, but it has two redeeming traits that even in the face of my intense dislike of them, I must admire.
They have a delicate yellow flower, a visual payback, albeit small, for the menacing claim they stake in flower gardens. As I pulled this giant specimen this morning, though, it made me think of the submission process. Here’s what the WEED does, and does very well.
It grows outward from the center to form a large star-like structure, its tentacles reaching out as far as a foot in all directions. (Note its tenacity: it reaches out in several directions, not just one.)
Also, it doesn’t produce just one seed. To beat nature’s odds and the gardener’s best efforts it produces many seeds. These seeds are spiny and hard (note: they’re hardy and enduring). Their punishing spikes can penetrate skin and even those hardy rubber-covered work gloves, so unless you come specially equipped, you probably won’t pull them out.
So, despicable though they may be, they offered inspiration for me this morning.
Be like the puncturevine with your submissions. Send them out in many directions, and produce a thick, indestructible shell in the face of rejection letters. Keep growing new networks, new possibilities, so if one avenue produces a rejection, you will have many other avenues open to you.
There are many ways of visualizing success when sending proposals and submissions. Some say if you throw enough mud on the side of the barn, eventually some of it will stick. Jim Cole, one of my critique partners, says you have to collect many black marbles before you find the white one. What visual do you use when making a pitch or sending submissions and proposals?