In my quest for a literary agent, I would update my family by hollering, "Got another rejection!" My daughter, who has a great positive attitude scolded me one day and said, "Mom, you need to use a different word. If you focus on the word 'rejection' you'll get more rejections." So, I thought about that. Of course, I do NOT want more rejections. That sucks.
So, I was thinking about how many agents a writer (specifically ME) has to go through to find the right match.
Which in my head, immediately made me think of food - and how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Hmm. Strategy formed. I now have a jar next to my computer and a file in Excel. Everytime I hear back from a prospective agent with anything less than a "YES" I count it as one of the necessary licks to get to the center of the literary world. I add a Tootsie Pop to my jar and notate it appropriately in my Excel file.
Then, when I am actively working on a project, whether it be a short story, writing exercise, or my next novel, I get to eat as many Tootsie Pops out of the jar as my creativity and self esteem require.