When I was sixteen and selling my face to Japanese marketers, my agent told me not to take rejection personally. “It’s just a business” she said, “don’t get down if some clients don’t like your look.” It didn’t work then, either.
I received my first proper rejection from a literary agent about a year ago—and I still feel like I’m being trampled by a herd of stiletto-wearing buffalo whenever I read it:
I love the idea of this proposal. You have a story to tell and I think many readers are interested. I’m sorry to say though that I didn’t think the writing was good enough to go forward at this time. Even in memoirs, which are often written by non-writers or first time authors, there are certain expectations and I don’t think this is polished or literary enough at this point. I encourage you to keep working on it or to consider a co-writer.
Very best of luck, Kris
The most embarrassing part of the response has to be the suggestion that I consider a co-writer—a move which would thus put me in the same literary circles of such esteemed writers as Pamela Anderson and Zsa Zsa Gabo. And I’m not even blond.
Anyway, at least my writing group likes me—which has to count for something (mind you, they pretty much like everything so maybe it doesn’t).