On this particular day, the assignment was surf and turf. My shrimp and steak were cooked to perfection but the instructor didn't like the fact I sliced the corn on the cob into pin wheels, thinking it would be easier to eat. He said it would have been better if I scraped the corn off and mixed it into the rice. So, I received a 99 on the dish.
Needless to say, I was a little upset. I was a bit of a perfectionist when it came to my dishes. (Okay, maybe more than just a bit). Not only did my food have to make your taste buds do the happy dance but it also had to be pleasing to the eye. So, I thought to myself, you're really going to knock a point off cause you would have preferred the corn mixed in the rice. From that point on, every time I brought a dish to an instructor to grade, I had to remember to cook my food my way and not worry to much if he was going to like it.
I thought about how similar this is to sending out queries to agents. Maybe my manuscript won't make said agent's brain and heart do the happy dance, or be pleasing to his or her eyes. That's okay. Because I know, one day, I will find that one agent who will love my manuscript no matter how much I 'slice' it.
When you get the next rejection letter and it says something like this: "I couldn't connect with the material" or "I couldn't get emotionally connected to the characters," remember it's said agent's no and someone else's yes.