I recently saw a Tweet that asked: "How long have you been querying for?" I wish I could remember where I saw it (damn you Twitter with your constant refreshing). But as a writer, it definitely triggered something for me.
I've had a few friends recently ask when my book was going to be published, or when they could get their hands on a copy. Thank you dear friends! That support means the world. But until I saw that Tweet, I was kind of blissfully ignorant to how many literary agents I had actually queried + how many had said yes. Spoiler alert: none of them have said yes.
So to answer this Tweet, dear anonymous Tweeter, I have queried 13 agents since September. That includes one blast end of September and another push at the beginning of 2020. I did get one positive response that they wanted to see more but due to their personal circumstances, were being very choosy on their new authors. Which is totally fair!
The funny thing is, when I actually checked my list and saw all the blank spaces of no responses (not every agent has the time to respond to the hundreds of submissions the get), or the few with firm No's beside them, it didn't totally rattle my core or shake all of my confidence. When I first started writing, I dreaded rejection. Like so many writers or mentors we've had, they all say the same thing: "everyone faces rejection at some point in their career." Hell, if JK Rowling can get turned down by that many publishers, and then be the goddess that created an entire world, then we've all got to do our time right?
In fact, when I first got my edited manuscript back from my Editor in the summer, I quickly scanned her notes and email and needed to put it away for a week or two as I just didn't feel strong enough to see all of the red lines or feedback on these characters I loved so much. But once I was ready, wow, did I respect this Editor! She had so many valid points and suggestions and I just knew that my novel was becoming so much stronger as a result.
So while I sit here playing the waiting game, I'm not that worried to be honest. The right agent needs to come along that believes in this world I've created just as much as I do. I wouldn't want someone to take it on just to get a book deal. I'm looking for that synchronicity between us that could lead to a very long and fruitful partnership for both of us. And in the mean time, I'm trying to get back into the world of novel writing as that is certainly one of the best ways to get stronger and stronger in one's craft.
Are you someone waiting on something too? A book deal? Maybe you're a musician shopping around an album or an artist trying to sell some of your paintings. If that's you, I am so here for you my friend. We can play the waiting game together - I have plenty of wine and puzzles to pass the time.