In a recent post by M.G. BUEHRLEN, I was inspired by her 100 Rejections Rule.
In a nutshell: Wait to get rejected at least 100 times on a manuscript before throwing in the towel. But, she encouraged tweaking your query and pages based on feedback too. Go and read her post if you haven't already.
I happen to think 100 is a good number too, as long as you (and your writing) continue growing during that process.
I was also rejected over 100 times with my first train wreck of a novel. The one that is being completely overhauled now.
Here's what I learned with the second book I queried (the one that got my agent's attention): I was getting way fewer form rejections than with the first, and more personal comments.
That told me I was improving, and that maybe my second book was more desirable and commercial (even still, I have the submission process ahead of me, and am in revisions with my third book).
So today I want to send out some words of encouragement to this fantastic writing community.
Continue to gather the stars,
To lasso the moon,
And shape your own clouds.
Persevere, learn, grow, and BELIEVE it will happen!
And somehow (some way) it will!
(photo credits: lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com,http://qomaspeakup.tumblr.com/ dreamimg, nationalgeographic.com)