Okay, so if you haven't already, you really need to read this. It's an article by Kathryn Stockett -- she talks about her book, The Help, and everything she went through to get it published. More specifically, everything she went through to get an agent.
Her book was rejected 60 times. The 61st letter was an offer of representation. She kept trying for three and a half years before she got an agent. Now her book's a bestseller and has its own movie. Nice turn of events, right?
Anyway, if you're querying or going to be querying in the future, I hope you'll keep this in mind, maybe even print it out. Even if you're not writing, if something else is your passion, it's a great reminder to never give up. Plus, bonus: The way she writes is sort of hysterical. That never hurts.
A lot of people claim J.K. Rowling as an inspiration. She is, no doubt, but in the "agent rejection" respect, her story never really encouraged me much. I mean, sure, she got rejected by multiple publishers before her book sold, but she got representation from the first agent she queried.
On the other end of the spectrum, Kathryn Stockett got representation from the sixty-first agent she queried, and won over the first publisher she tried.
What sort of stories encourage you?