Querying is hard and we do what we can to stay afloat. Having a writing community is of utmost importance. I don’t know how anybody stands the pressure, consistent hits on the self-esteem and doubting your writing abilities without people to cheer and uplift one. I know I could not.
What else can you do?
I decided to have a visual (and pretty) representation of the passes that come in. I expected there to be many because fantasy is a tight market, and my stories are niche and not on trend. So I got myself a nice canvas and glittery stars and decided to count to 100 passes with it.
Lo and behold, my WIP:
The big silver stars are for agents that asked to see another manuscript, should I get one finished. Personalised passes got their name tacked onto the star. Yes, yes there is exactly one of them and no, that was not on the full I had out.
It includes the stars where I thought in retrospect that I dodged a bullet. There’s passes on there when I am in hindsight happy it was a pass because I don’t think it would have worked on a personal level.
Querying is highly subjective – from both sides. I have a little insight on querying from the other side and it’s not much easier for agents. They are flooded with good work each day every day and have to make the hard decisions on who they can successfully represent. The reasons for a pass a varied and many of them are not about the quality of the work.
Still, each star on this canvas represents a pass. If I added stars for each query, I don’t expect to hear back from I’d probably be close to done by now. But I am petty, and I have petty dreams for the future. In case I ever get an agent, my plan is to inform everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, who didn’t officially pass on my manuscript an update note.
Then I shall imagine, most incorrectly, I know, how those agents search their inboxes for a query I sent over a year ago. I started querying at the end of 2021 and the longer I’m in the trenches the funnier it gets for me. I know I’m petty. But Query Manager exists, and every agent is free to close for queries any given time.
I still have agents many on my query list. Most of them have been closed whenever I looked to send more queries. Some, I think, were actually closed since I started querying.
I don’t really have a point to make. Just – make sure you have your community. Find ways to keep track of your querying distress in a way that helps. Hype your friends when you can. I know sometimes it’s hard when you feel it’s never gonna be you.
I’m rooting for you!