Friday, July 30, 2010

Staying Confident

If you've started querying you know the nervous tic as you refresh your browser, know the shaking finger as you click on the message, know the disappointment of seeing "not right for me, sorry" staring up at you from the screen.

This article about a day in the life of a querier was from yesterday's Guide to Literary Agents. I wondered how the author got into my dining room.

I've sent 35 queries. And by all accounts, I've done pretty well.  I've had two requests for fulls from unsolicited queries--and three more as a result of a query combined with a conference meeting or contest.  Five fulls out of 35 is pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  So I'm confident I'll find the right agent. But...

Yesterday I got a pretty disappointing rejection.  It was from someone I had met a couple of times, connected with, and who I know liked my concept.  Something wasn't quite right for that person to take me on.  I've had three pretty similar rejections from fulls--"good writing, good concept, not quite right for me." Or "didn't love it the way I'd hoped."  My confidence is waning. But...

I have 12 queries that haven't responded--and two fulls still out.  And like I tell my crit partners, 35 queries is not yet "querying widely."  I'm confident I'll find the right agent.

Can you say flip-flop?

Logically I know with a concept people like and good writing I should keep querying until I hit the right person at the right time.  But I'm starting to waver (did you notice).  Should I be making revisions?  Noone has given me revision suggestions on my current MS.  Should I continue boldly or wait until more of my outstanding queries come back?  Or wait to hear from the two agents who still have fulls?

When will the query fairy come down and wave her magic wand?

Rather than sounding whiny and ungrateful and desperate, I need to answer my own questions.  Every step along the way has it's own challenges, right? This is just one challenge.

I know my writing is good--I've had validation there.  I know my concept is good, too.  I think I'm going to wait a week or so and see if I get any feedback from the queries and fulls that are out.  And then, I'm going to dive back into the query pool.  There are lots of people looking for realistic YA who I haven't queried yet.  In other words, there are more fish in the sea.

I'm confident. Really.


Jess said...

Oh Kris, I wish I could empathize more (but alas, I only have one full out--and my rejection list is much higher than yours). You're doing great, and your stats are fantastic! Have you tried Chris Richman over at Upstart Crow? I hear he has a soft spot for manuscripts that incorporate sports (yours involves golf, right?).

Kris said...

Thanks Jess! I know I have no right to complain--and I know there are frustrations at every stage along the way. Good luck on the full you have out!

PS Chris R is one of the outstanding queries I have out. I hope he still has that soft spot for sports!

Aubrie said...

Boy, I'm at the same point as you. It's so tough to hang in there. I'm slowing on my next WIP and I know its because of all those rejections.

Your stats are awesome. Maybe you should send out a few more queries?

Kris said...

Aubrie--it's good to know others are in the same boat!

I actually sent a couple new queries out yesterday. Just couldn't wait! ;)

Kristin said...

Good for you, Kris, for staying in the game. You'll get picked up, you just haven't found the right one. ;)

Kris said...

Thanks, Kristin! I appreciate it. I hope so!

Julie Musil said...

Your blog post made me smile. We all know what you're going through, Kris. Keep with it! It sounds like you're definitely warm, and just haven't found 'the one.'

reberto.alberto said...

Hi there! is organizing a short story writing contest.

We do think that you too might have a marvelous story to tell, one that is your own! So if you can compose it in not more than few words, we would want to hear from you. Also, you stand a chance to get your story published on our site and win cash prize of USD 100.

“Then what are you waiting for? …put on your thinking cap and get writing. For registration and other information check -

Happy writing!