The Great and Powerful Oz Has Spoken
Okay, good, just checking.
Because sometimes I get these letters from people that seem to imbue me with powers that I just don’t have. Like this one I received in response to a very kind rejection letter I’d sent (this is paraphrased to protect the writer’s identity):
I guess my book isn’t right for you. Thanks for suggesting I continue pursuing publication but I don’t think I’m going to do that. You see, sending you my proposal was like a test of whether or not I should be a writer. When you answered “no” I took it as a sign. I’m glad I wrote this story—it has been an amazing experience. But now I see I’m not meant to be a writer and this book is not meant to be published. I will not send it anywhere else. I will put it away, be thankful for the experience, and go on with my life.
Wow. It definitely can feel scary that some people ascribe unrealistic powers to literary agents (and other people in positions of influence). I know this person is doing what they need to do. Perhaps they really wanted to give up writing and needed a good outside excuse (permission) to do so, and I conveniently provided it. But I would hate to think that a writer with potential would give up after only one agent submission. That would be sad.
So in case you’re wondering… I just wanted to confirm that I don’t speak for God. I don’t have all the answers. All I have are my opinions, subjective ones at that, and what I say should never be taken for more than what it is: the fallible words of a lone literary agent.
Not a sign from the universe. Not the gospel.
(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)
Rachelle Gardner is a Christian literary agent affiliated with WordServe Literary Group in Colorado.