I stumbled upon this excellent reminder of how subjective the writing world really is: A Tale of Two Critiques. Check out the whole article, you’ll feel so much better afterwards. I promise.
The take away:
- The kidlit world is a very subjective business. Personal preferences and interests matter a whole lot more than we’d like them to. Which is to say, your book may be amazing but not every book is for every person.
- You just need to find ONE person (agent or editor) who falls deeply in love with your book. A rejection from someone says nothing about your overall work (unless it says something about your overall work) other than it didn’t sweep the agent or editor of their feet. But that’s ok, because how many people do we genuinely sweep of their feet?
- One person’s opinion will differ wildly from another. Read the feedback with care and try to understand where the feedback is coming from. Then ask yourself if that’s a place you want to be. Sometimes, an agent or editor (or CP partner) may simply be trying to get you to write the story they want to read. But maybe that’s not the story you want to write. Learn to spot genuine and helpful feedback that makes your story better and don’t worry about the rest.
- Seek out feedback and ideally from people who write (or edit) better than you. But also know when not to take it personally. Some people just don’t like chocolate and they’re going to pass on my amazing salted-caramel chocolate cake. It’s nothing personal.