Wednesday, August 11, 2010
How I Write: Knowing When to Query
Welcome to the ninth installment of the How I Write series, brainchild of Ansha Kotyk. A group of writers are writing about how we write – scheduled for Wednesdays through August. Please check back weekly. And click here for the list of all the writers participating and links to their blogs.
Does anyone ever know when to query? The standard advice is DON'T. Query that is. Until...
1. you have a finished manuscript
2. your ms has been read by your crit group and revised accordingly
3. you've shelved it for six weeks and then read it out loud to yourself
4. you literally can't make it better
But really, when is it ready? I think my ms is ready--it's been in Queryland since June. I've taken a wee break from querying for Writeoncon.com. But it's full speed ahead next week.
I think it's also about knowing when you're ready yourself. My dh pointed out last night (as I was on my way to my book club) that the querying is taking a toll on me. "You're supposed to be the calm one. Have a glass of wine. Or two." Now I hadn't realized my stress was leaking out of me.
Does that mean I'm not ready? No. It just means I need to give myself permission (thank you Molly O'Neill) to step away from the computer and relax. And work on other things.
How do you know when your ms is ready? How do you know when YOU are ready?