That’s how many days ago that I sent out my query letters to the agents I pitched at the conference.
43 days and nooooo response.
Numbers in the 40s seem to be an unlucky range for me because that’s about how many agents I queried for my first book, not including the 20-30 on my second. It’s an exhausting number.
I have learned a great deal about patience along this process which I am grateful for because I am NOT a patient person by nature however, I can’t lie and say that I feel confident about getting an agent today. Maybe I will this afternoon, maybe not until tomorrow or next week or next month. It’s a strange game because if you are a writer, you love what you do.
It’s just WHO you are. It’s something that your mind and body require of you to feel fulfilled. Without it you are less than. And that’s purely why we keep doing it because for MANY writers, this is not the only “job” they have. It’s squeezed in around the 9-5 that actually pays the bills, or school activities, play dates, household duties, oil changes and illnesses. Somehow, we are finding the time to perfect our craft so that someday we are become the chosen one while the rest continue to beat their faces against the literary wall in hopes that one day, someone on the other side will open a door, or even a window – we have no shame.
It doesn’t take much to have the rug pulled from under you which is why I held back my full excitement from the conference high. Yes, for once I had not one, but TWO agents ask to see more of my work. There was smiling and hand shaking, cards exchanged and an internal validation racing through my hopeful heart.
Could this really be it?!?!
We need those moments to remind us why we do this. Why we spend hours upon hours studying agent bio’s until we have them memorized and then their submission guidelines and then type and retype a FANTASTIC query letter only to feel like it’s complete trash the moment we hit ‘Send’.
I mirrored the excitement everyone else seemed to feel for me, believing in me in ways I will never fully understand. So, I would not be unappreciative. I would not be the Bitter Betty.
But now, 43 days later, it’s difficult to feel that excitement when I’ve learned one of those agents is several months behind on reviewing queries. The other has not responded at all and her particular agency asks you NOT to follow up… just keep refreshing your online submission and hope for the best.
I am not alone in this. There are hundreds, if not thousands of other aspiring writers who are in the same boat as I am and there is a comfort in that.
Now, as I prepare for the upcoming school year where yet another transitional period will force me to plot and plan my days down to the minute, I am honestly relieved. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself!
One day, I’ll be able to write in here the elation of landing a deal. It’ll happen, hopefully before menopause begins. In the meantime, we are less than 10 days away from my oldest daughter’s first day of school. Real school. All day LONG school and this is something so totally new for me! An entire day with only one child and 2 days where I have over 3 WHOLE HOURS of only me!
Me and my creepy creepy thoughts.
Nevertheless! I have so much time available to me now than EVER and I am already working out how to use it wisely, intentionally, positively.
I do have my list of things that I really want to focus on.
- Really figuring out what I want my next novel to be. I have bits and pieces of thoughts/ideas/characters but nothing solid. I really want to pull this shit together and get it going. Which also means more reading/research.
- Start working on the bigger house projects that I told myself I’d get to once the kids were in school and there will be less distraction. Send prayers.
- Go to a cycling class at least once a month.
- Work on an old manuscript of mine that has been rejected (several times) and see if I can clean it up now that I have a little more knowledge under my belt.
- Secure an agent!!!!
This list is pretty important to me for different reasons and they all tie together in one way or another. It is obviously full of things that I already do/am working towards but staying conscious of my goals is the difference between talking about it and actually DOING it.
If I am going to keep preaching to my kids about confidence and working hard in their new “big” lives then I have to show them that I am as well. I can’t wrap all my self-worth up in whether or not I’ll be published. I’m more than that. It will always be my ultimate goal but it isn’t the only thing that gives me joy!
We’ve had a really wonderful summer and even though this “set back” if I can even call it that has me feeling a little low, it’s only one part of my life and the other great parts will balance this out.