Sit quietly and sip coffee all morning long. Resist the urge to switch from coffee to hard liquor. At least until after lunch.
- Forget breakfast. You’re wallowing, after all. Absentmindedly nibble banana chips just to say you ate something.
- Eventually, let your loved ones express outrage on your behalf. Secretly feel both validated and vindicated, but outwardly, just sigh and shrug.
- Send a kind note to the agent thanking them for their time, because, after all, they did give it careful consideration, and it was a well crafted rejection note, and if they didn’t love the book, they wouldn’t have been right to represent it anyway.
- Nevertheless, wallow some more. Develop a massive headache. Lie down for a few minutes and wind up taking a nap.
- Eventually, eat lunch, but only because your loved ones make you and because it might help your headache. Think about drinking, but fill a glass with water instead. It is just 2 pm, after all.
- Make some vague comment about the rejection online. Then play video games. The more mindless, the better.
- Go outside. Preferably into sunshine. Eat ice cream. Get the waffle cone — you deserve it.
- Let your loved ones usher you into a serious conversation about what to do next. Noncommittally begin to develop a plan: revise? resubmit? Maybe the former, eventually the latter.
- Because you can’t put them off any longer, start acknowledging the consolation messages your friends send you online. Yes, it’s just one rejection. Yes, there are plenty of other agents out there. Yes, it really is a good story, and it’ll happen sooner or later.
- As your head clears (ice cream is great for headaches), start getting determined. Realize that your loved ones and your friends are right. It is a good story. Start looking at new agents. Hell, start looking at every big-name agent you can find. So what if they reject you? You can handle it.
- Shoot for the moon.
- Feel better about yourself. Feel better about your work. Feel GREAT about your work.
- And now you can start drinking.