Monday, 6 August 2012
Dear Mr Agent
Dear Mr Agent
It’s taken me a while to muster up the will to write to you again, as I’m sure you’ll understand after that debacle of a Dear John letter. I got in from work (note – 12 hour shift) to find the brown envelope on the mat. Anyway, I opened it and there it was. A freaking rejection. You didn’t even have the courtesy to put my name on it. ‘Dear Nellie’ would have been nice. I’m not saying it would have mended my broken heart, I’m simply pointing out that a little personalisation would make you more attractive as an agent.
It’s not for us, you said. Just like that, Without a thought or a care in the world. You simply keyed in those callous words, printed it off, asked your assistant to put it in the ‘out’ tray and went back to drinking your latte at your desk, in your office, where expensive paintings adorn the walls and the bathroom is smelling of roses, the toilet roll dispenser is filled with Andrex, and the kitchen has its own Aga.
So, I’m writing to tell you that you’ve ruined my life. I want to give up my job, because quite frankly I hate it. I mean, do you really want to be scanning soup tins, spring onions and frozen peas through a supermarket checkout all day? Would you like to be taking people’s orders all night in your second job…no onions please…no wait…I’ll have onions….actually give me sweetcorn, ham and mushrooms instead love? Do you really want to be waiting tables at night in a drab café with netted curtains and plastic ketchup bottles on the tables, the rims caked with sauce? No, I bet you don’t. I bet you don’t want to spend all night wiping down the red and white checked plastic tablecovers, serving truckers, frying their eggs and dipping their bread, then presenting them with the greasefest, all in return for a 50p tip.
Let me tell you this, Mr Agent. And I’m going to say it loud and clear You suck. Because you hate my book. You said other agents may disagree. Like you care! While you’re driving your Bugatti round and round the M25 (and I sincerely hope you get stuck on it) you really should spare a thought for me*. Nellie the waitress by night, part-time supermarket check out girl by day and wannabe novelist. My book is awesome and some day, some agent will come along and say so. But for now, I’m going to try to be happy in my two minimum wage jobs. Until my big break comes along*1 JK Rowling did it and so can I.
Please don’t feel sorry for me. Just go back to doing what you were doing before you opened this envelope. In fact, shred it. Forget about me. Forget you even read this.
* Nellie doesn’t own a car and even if she did, she wouldn’t give Mr Agent a lift. If she saw him coming out of Marks and Spencer in the pouring rain with his six bottles of champagne in the cardboard carrier, she would toot, make a rude gesture, then drive on.
*1 Anything is possible. Nellie will soon secure that agent and sign a book deal. She’ll walk away from her two jobs and buy a house in the countryside where she’ll live happily ever after. And she’ll be the greatest author who ever lived.
The moral of this is don’t give up. Whether you have had six or sixty rejections from agents or publishers, keep calm and carry on writing. Practice makes perfect and remember, all authors were once unpublished nobodies.