You've heard it said: "Not everyone is going to love your work." You've also heard it said that you need to find the one person who loves it, who really sees a bright future for it. And you've heard that, for some people, it just won't hit par and they're going to pass.
But no big deal, because you just need to find the right person.
I am here to tell you that this is all pretty much true. At least on a small level.
Talk to any published or soon-to-be published author: most likely they'll have gone through a number of queries until they found the right person to represent them. And while I haven't yet hit this stage, I have been in a Fiction Workshop all semester, and it's kind of (almost) the same thing on a smaller level.
The reason is simple: the entire class read a short story; the entire class got together to talk about it. Some people absolutely loved it, and some people thought it could use a lot of work.
Now, I realize that none of us are really in a position to actually get anything publishing-worthy at our stage, but I've noticed that the majority of us have some pretty interesting insight. And, the fact is, there's always one or two people who are in love with the same aspect of a short story that most of the others think isn't doing much.
Those one or two people are who you want to look for. Heck, those are the exact kind of people that you are looking for if you're querying. Odds are you're going to get (or have gotten) a number of rejections, because it just wasn't the right fit. This is okay: you want to find the agent or publisher that fits.
And if I haven't beat the dead horse* enough, join a workshop class (or think about workshop classes/groups that you've been in in the past) and you'll probably see where I'm coming from.
Don't give up; there's plenty of fish in the sea, but you're looking for a shark who won't eat you.
*No horses were harmed in the making of this blog post.
There's plenty of fish in the sea, but you need a shark. @Rae_Slater explains: not everyone is going to love your work (Click to Tweet)
Workshops are the perfect example to prove how not everyone will love your work, but someone will via @Rae_Slater (Click to Tweet)