In the last few months, I’ve dipped a toe in the query waters. After spending most of last year writing, editing and revising a children’s picture book, my fellow Restless Writers informed me it was time. Time to let my baby bird fly from the nest to see if any agent birds might be interested in what the tiny bird has to say.
This is my first foray into the vast query ocean and let me tell you, it is not a welcoming place. The water is cold, dark and pretty lonely. Hearing the word “no” and all its variations time and time again can leave you feeling like it’s time to hop into the nearest life raft, head to shore and happily hoard your writing for your eyes only for all of eternity.
Thankfully, I happen to have a secret weapon to defend against this line of thinking and help me forge ahead. Part cheerleader, part ball buster, this person is the Jillian Michaels of the query coaching world.
The name of this coach you ask? Well, I can tell you they won’t like that I’m mentioning them in this post. They will not like it at all. So let’s just say their name rhymes with Leckie Has.
Good. Now that we’ve got that out of the way let me tell you how Leckie has helped me with the process of querying. In a nutshell, like Jillian Michaels, Leckie refuses to let me quit.
Sent out 25 queries and received 25 rejections back? Awesome. Send out another 50.
Me: I got a rejection email from such and such agent.
Leckie: A rejection from such and such agent?! Sharon, that’s fantastic. That agent is amazing. Now send a query to this one and this one and this one.
Back and forth we go and as we do, somehow, I start to feel like my querying efforts are all going according to plan. The more defeat the better. Leckie reminds me that repeated rejections are supposed to happen, they are part of how the query process works. If you are hearing the word “no” it means you are putting your work out there and this is the only way to get where you want to go.
Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t still have days where the life raft is calling my name but I know with Leckie on my
case side, it’s futile to entertain these thoughts. Better to query and query again and once more while I’m at it.
One response to “Unless You Puke, Faint, or Die, Keep Going”
You are not alone in this venture. I know how you feel. It is strangely encouraging to know that this is the experience of others as well. Oddly enough a rejection is better than no answer. At least from that I can presume that someone has read my story. Sooner or later we are bound break through.