Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Queryphobia

First, don't forget to check out the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog post for the week on "A-ha moments in writing!" by Laura Diamond! Also, see earlier posts by the other sisters, Zoe Courtman, Danyelle Leafty, and posted and myself.


Okay. On to querying. Boo! Did I scare you?


Are any of you out there afraid of querying? Possibly making up excuses to do yet another edit or revision before querying?

Because, let's face it. Querying will always involve rejections. I think I've gotten a thick skin from querying in the past but still. When you put our your nice, new, shiny manuscript out in the worlds, inevitably you WILL see those words.

Thank you for your interest in our agency. I'm afraid I'll have to pass on your novel, MY BABY, THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, THE FRUIT OF MY LOOM, METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING. The publishing world is very subjective and yada yada yada.

Any of you ever get palpitations hitting that send button while querying? Or needed a glass of wine/Xanax/transcendental meditation to do so?

36 comments:

Jennifer Walkup said...

Jumping in with the first query or two is the worst. After that it gets easier, well at least a bit less scary to hit send anyway. Good luck and I love the query spider!

India Drummond said...

It isn't the querying that gets me, it's the compulsively hitting 'send/receive' on my email that drives me bat-shit crazy.

Matthew Rush said...

Yes I definitely used to. But by now I've had so many rejections that it doesn't matter. EVERYONE gets rejected. I consider it a badge of honor. If I wasn't getting rejections that would mean I wasn't querying and that might mean I didn't have a novel that I was proud enough of to try to get it published. I'd rather get rejected than never have written it.

Mary McDonald said...

Love the query spider. hehe. You saw my post yesterday, I think, so you know how frustrated I've been. Good luck with your querying and I hope you have success early.

Amparo Ortiz said...

That query spider made my day!


I'm still editing my WIP, but I can feel that query spider approaching. Quite the scary scenario. I think what frightens me the most is not sending them, but refreshing my inbox every two seconds to see if agents have responded! Here's to hoping the spider dies!


P. S. I gave you an award on my blog, Lydia! Congrats!

B.E. Sanderson said...

It's been a while since I queried, but just thinking about it... :shudder: No matter the squirms I get beforehand, though, I just suck it up and shoot them out. The first couple of any group I send out always make my heart race (and not in a good way), but by the time I send out the fifth, I'm calm. Until the next group, that is.

Janet Johnson said...

Yes, I keep doing the 'one more edit' thing. But really, it needs it! :) The query is written, critiqued . . . just need to take a deep breath and go for it.

And thank for stopping by my blog!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

OMG, this is me. I'm the keep editing girl.
My query is ready, I just need the nerves to send it.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I'm not ready to query yet but I can imagine the apprehension will be there followed by the obsessive behavior to check emails every minute of the day.

Jayne said...

Love the query spider! Also the novel title. :)

Oh yes. Queries are a weird sort of writers purgatory. I am gearing up for a query in the not too distant future and the thought of it is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat. Lots of chocolate needed for that hurdle, I feel!

Christine Fonseca said...

I totally freak with querying...The rs don't get to me...unless they pile up. But, man, it is hard. My advice - a GREAT diversion! The process is slow, typically, just be prepared for waiting.

Mayowa said...

HA! The fruit of my loom...classic.

Querying is hard at first, gets better though. I want to wall paper my writing nook with my rejections...almost there.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm definitely query phobic. With my wip, I thought it was ready to query. It had gone through the rounds with my crit group and my beta readers. Even my query had been worked on.

Turns out it wasn't enough.

I've been doing extensive revisions (e.g. adding more description) after taking two writer's workshops (boy did they help), and will send it out to new beta readers soon. But yes, I'm terrified to start querying again after my bad start.

Angela said...

My experience is the opposite to most. I wasn't a bit afraid when I first started querying. I sent out an average of 3-4 queries a day. After many, many rejections--then came the fear. Last month I sent out only four queries. My fear? That I'll run out of agents to query and have to give up.

Elana Johnson said...

Uh, yes. Double yes. All the time yes. It's horrible. I hated querying. I'm hoping I never ever have to do it again. Ever.

It's tough out there. But you can do it. We can do hard things. Good luck!

Talli Roland said...

Querying sucks. Every time I hear a 'ping' when I'm querying I need to race over to my computer only to see a silly Prozac email or somesuch nonsense. Gr!

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Ugh. Can't even THINK of the neurotic puddle of ooze I'll be come when it's time to send out the query for this current MS. Ack! Oh, hey - I tagged you over on my blog :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Like anything else worth having in life, it requires persistence to obtain. Keep at it!

DaniSue said...

Yes, this is totally me! I know my book is close to being as good as I can make it, so I've set myself a deadline at which point I have to start querying, no excuses.

Jen said...

I haven't gotten to that stage of the game so I try not to think about it at the moment, but I'll admit I'll be scared when the time comes around! It's always nerve-wrecking to take a chance!

Taryn Tyler said...

I won't be ready to query again for some time but I'm already dreading it. It's like going into a bar and proposing to absolutely everybody on the spot and hoping one of them actually heard you.

Cheree said...

Oh, to hit the send button or not, that is the question. I always feel this way and my finger hovers over the send button for a long time.I think it's mainly because I'm about to send my baby out to get judged.

Munk said...

I am definitely a query-phobe. I am terrified of burning bridges.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I'm okay with the querying part. It's the waiting part that absolutely terrifies me. :-)

Rena said...

I too, am okay with the querying part. And like Shannon, it's the waiting that's hard. Even more hard when you never hear anything.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yup - I'm totally terrified of querying. Totally. *sigh*

B.J. Anderson said...

Lol, all of the above. It's even worse when I see a reply in my inbox. Eek!! Love the query spider.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Querying is scary. But I kind of like the rush. That's prob why I love jumping out of planes too. They are very similar. ;)

Sandy Shin said...

I am still ages away from the querying stage, and already I am terrified of it! I'm not sure, when the time comes, I'll have the courage to hit "send."

Gail said...

Oh my... deja vu. So hard to not make excuses! Then there;s the waiting,which does give you time to get over the query DTs. Of course it also gives you time to second guess your submission, your letter, belittle your writing skills so that when the rejection letter/email arrives, you've already planned for it! BUT, if you believe that putting out positive energy into the world brings positive energy back to you, then it would be good to affirm to yourself that you've done your best and good things will come at the right time. Hmmm.... think I'll try that!

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MissV said...

Sick puppy that I am, I can't wait to query! It's moving on to the next stage, it's progress.

It's also kinda like taking a test. And I love taking tests! Only this is a test that you flunk time and again...but when you pass - woo hoo! Party time!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

You bet I get nervous before hitting the send key. But worse is seeing the return email and you know there's either a rejection or acceptance once you hit enter. Beads of sweat can pop out on my forehead. But it's like taking a bandage off, just pull it off quickly and sometimes it doesn't hurt at all. ;)

Anna said...

Querying is such a roller coaster. I would get a request and get all excited, and then I'd get a rejection and have to eat some chocolate to cope. But as frustrating as it can be, I think it prepares you for the next step of the process: waiting for news from your agent on editors' responses. The ups and downs don't stop, but at least you have an agent there to cheer you on. It's all part of the crazy process, I guess!

Jamie Grey said...

I still get the breathless jitters when I send something out. And the send/receive crazies! I finally had to have a little talk with myself and promise I'd only click refresh once every 5 minutes :)

I think the worst part is seeing a response come through and have that brief second of hope before you read the rejection. I'm counting on it being an acceptance someday. In the mean time, a big glass of wine always helps!

Slushpile Slut said...

I love querying, only because it means I'm at the point of completion where I finally think my WIP is good enough....until the agent sends a form rejection and then I reach for the wine :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Yep -- I'm putting off queries on two manuscripts (need one more read, a little more self-editing). It's part of the game...

 
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