So, following from my last rejection in May, I took a backseat, did some reading, and got one of my best friends to read my chapters for her opinion. She said she enjoyed them, and had some stylistic changes for me to make. Although I'm still waiting to get her full feedback, knowing that someone outside of myself and husband (and someone who is a published poet) liked the story enough to tell me not to worry about the rejections, gave me more confidence in The Book.
Since then, I've sent it off to three more agents and entered it in the Bridport Prize competition. I have no hope in the latter: A. M. Heath is the judging team, the same literary agency that rejected the novel over three months' ago. However, the other three agents are dreams, and I hope I hear something from them, even if it is more than a standard form rejection. I also plan to send it off to one more agency this evening, after adding a little more meat to the synopsis. They all have an average of 8-12 weeks waiting time, so in the mean time I'm submitting two short stories to the Emma Press, as they have an anthology coming out soon.
Rejections hurt, but I'll never be published if I don't try. It's still quite surreal that I'm doing this, and I'm yet to adjust to this part of my writing journey, but it's exciting at the same time.
Who knows what the months will bring?