Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In Which I Query



I tried to find a picture related to the topic at hand but couldn't. So instead you get this



So, as the title says, and as I hinted at last Wednesday, I've jumped into the query waters.
So far I find them pleasant and warm. And exciting to finally be in them!

Though one thing I didn't expect was this obsession with my gmail, and some mild impatience. I know everyone tells you to expect this, I just though I wouldn't have to worry about it.

I mean, waiting for responses? I though that'd be easy. I've submitted short stories and had to wait on those. I've got a story on submission right now that's been with magazine for 4 months now, and I've still got another possible 2 months wait on it. Just to wait to see if they're interested. That's half a year for like 2500 words.
After that, I thought waiting for possible query responses would be easy.

Wrong. I think the reason why it's different is because some agents get back to you right away, so you get a taste for quick responses. Which means I check my gmail like 3 times more a day than I used to.

Also, checking my gmail is totally bittersweet now. I get both excited and nervous to do it. What if I have a response? What if I don't? I'm not even necessarily worrying what the responses will be. All of this wars inside me the moment I sign in to when my inbox opens up.

All in all, I'm having a great time.

When I got really serious again about my writing (about 2 years ago) one of the things I was looking most forward to was querying. Even though it's an emotional roller coaster, it looked so fun to me. And it's definitely one step further along in the journey. So yeah, now that I'm here, I'm determined to have a good time, no matter what.

Also, I love filling out little databases and stuff with submission stats (like duotrope digest for short stories) so now that I actually get to do that in query tracker, I'm all smiles.

So, how about you? Where are you at with your current writerly process? And most importantly, are you having fun?

36 comments:

Christine Danek said...

I can't wait to get to the query wars. Okay, I'm scared as ever, but I'm still writing and revising so I'm hoping to get there later this year.
Good luck!

KatieO said...

Good luck. Try not to get too obsessed... and hope it stays fun ;-)

Justine Dell said...

Welcome to the query club! Let me know if you ever need a shoulder to cry on. Maybe you'll be lucky and not need it--but it's there just in case!

Right now I am um ... doing nothing? Yup! That's it! Nothing writing related, which feels AWESOME!!!

~JD

Hannah Kincade said...

You know where Im at. Also I'm very impatient right now. So many things I'm doing right now involve waiting. I hate waiting and right now I have very few distractions from my own thoughts.

Hannah Kincade said...

Jedi wave

Jaydee Morgan said...

Still in the writing process but wishing you lots of luck (and fun) during your query process.

Summer Frey said...

You know where I am as well. Right now, I've checked out a ton of books from the library and am zooming through them. It's nice to read again.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Christine - i got scared the closer i got, but once i sent out the first one, it got easier. I'm sure you'll have fun once you're there!

KatieO - luckily the obsession seems to wax and wane. And so far, still fun

Justine - i try to remain realistic. Besides, there's always the next book if this one doesn't get anywhere

Hannah - yeah, it really does seem like a lot of us are in a waiting game. We need to do something to zazz things up. Preferably something that doesn't cost money. Game night maybe?

Hannah - ...like, the wave at a ball game?

jaydee - thanks! And i hope your writing goes well!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Summer - oh man! Color me jealous! One of the best thigns int eh world is just zooming through a stack of books

Ellen Brickley said...

Hey, if you're querying, it means you've written a book you're happy with and you're willing to send it out into the world in search of glory. . . that's got to be good!

I wish you the very best of luck, keep us posted :D

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Have fun! It's not my favorite thing, mostly because it takes so long to do. Love the kittie picture. Too cute!!!! :D

Lindsay said...

I'm getting ready to query at the moment. Just waiting for final verdicts on edits from CPS/getting the polish on my MS now, but the query is all ready to go. Eep.

I'm sending good query vibes your way.

Maria Zannini said...

This blog is just going to die of cuteness.

aspiring_x said...

i love your positive attitude...
jiminey though. i'm already obsessive about checking my email. i'm going to be downright nuts when i am ready to query! yikes!

Teebore said...

Also, I love filling out little databases and stuff with submission stats

NEEEEEEERRRRRRD!

We totes need to do another game night, stat.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm really looking forward to eventually querying again, because I've learned so much since I did it so poorly the first time, I know it will be better when I do.

But there will always be the waiting. Even with the horrible queries I sent out at first I once got a request like 8 months later. It boggles the mind.

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm in wait mode on two (yes two different books) and I'm pretty much dead in the water right now. I'm in between those that shoot the rejections off right away and those that take up to 3 months to answer. Also have a several partials out, and those are never fun. At least with a rejection outright, you can move on.

Waiting is killing me. And I'm still recuperating from spring break last week.

Eric W. Trant said...

Query, yuck, the dirty underbelly of writing.

But all successful published authors say it is a must, and they are right.

Send if off a million directions and move on to the next! Don't get stuck in that endless query loop so many writers seem obsessed with.

Not a big fan of giving rights unsolicited. Pardon forthcoming rant.

If they read my work and tell me they want exclusive read-first rights, sure, I'll respect that, but it's awfully unrealistic for sites and anthologies and small publishers and even large publishers to DEMAND we submit our work only to THEM while they take a few dozen weeks at their leisure to decide if they like or don't like our work, along with a couple thousand other submissions piled on their desk.

Point is this: SUBMIT to as many places as you can and make them ask for read-first rights.

I never have understood how publishers get away with demanding read-fees and exclusive submissions. It's like they believe we are mindless, desperate souls seeking to enslave ourselves for virtually no money at all!

;)

- Eric

Holly Ruggiero said...

Cute little kitty-frog!

Your out there and that's great!

Janel said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one who is a wee bit obsessed with filling out Duotrope and my Excel spreadsheets. :) Speaking of that, I need to get a couple stories back out on submission. Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow! Good luck!!

Anne said...

your email obsessiveness is contagious- i wonder to myself when the last time you checked was. and everytime you call me i'm super excited just in case...
even Jen is excited by proxy

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Ellen - very true and thanks!

Stina - yeah, it is pretty time consuming. But i figure the time has to pass anyway

Lindsay - ooh good luck! Good query vibes coming your way!

Maria - Hah! Of course, it was the first picture that popped uo when i googled "cute"

Aspiring - i'm not going to lie. It's quite terrible

Teebore - yes we do. And yes I am. What's not to like about that?

Matt - 8 months?! That's crazy. And i'm excited for you to start querying too!

Anne - yeah the waiting is harder than i expected. And being in between the quick responders and slow responders stinks, big time.

Eric - yeah, i'm not a big fan of exclusives as well. Good thing not a lot of agents are either. I saw on Querytracker and agency that wanted an exclusiv Query. I mean, really?

Holly - thanks! And it's exciting as well!

Janel - ironically, one of the things that bugs me about having to wait is that i want to fill out my trackers more often...

Anne - sorry about that. You should just assume from here on out that if i'm calling you, it's because i'm just too lazy to text (also, my fingers are often too cold to be legible)

Anne said...

it's the phone calls in the midst of emails that get me going

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Nothing like querying to make a person certifiable. Your best bet is to try and focus on another project, throw yourself into it with all you've got. Querying makes fools of us all, to be sure. There's nothing more frustrating or exhilirating. Well, okay, there are some things, but it's right up there.

Good luck!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think I'll have more fun with my edits when the Challenge is done!

Trisha said...

Exciting!! Well, I just got my first rejection - it was a lovely one, as far as rejections go :D

Lola Sharp said...

I love your attitude of having fun with it! :) That's the way to approach most things in life.

You darn organized people with your charts and graphs and spreadsheets. (and I KNOW you loves your spreadsheets) I wish some of that organization would rub off on me.

Here's hoping you have them fighting over you. :)
Love,
Lola

Hart Johnson said...

You feel warm and fuzzy about querying?! Are you INSANE?! I hear you on the impatience thing... but I HATE querying...

I am still waiting to hear back from my Cozy agent on whether she is interested in my other stuff... If she's NOT, I will need to query, too. But I HATE IT.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Anne - Lol sorry. But sometimes it's just easier to talk then to write

Carolina - yeah it appears to be one hella rollercoaster ride

Alex - only a few more days!

Trisha - aww that's both happy and sad. Sad for the rejection, happy cuz it was nice

Lola - i do. i do indeed. Though to be fair, i'm just relying on query tracker for querying. And even if you have to force yourself to have fun, sooner or later, having fun just becomes second nature

Hart - LOL i do, because it's one more (big) step on my journey! Also, there's plenty of personal interaction to be had

Nate Wilson said...

I've stepped away from my writing process this month, but after I write a couple more letters, I should be able to get back into it. Need to finish up that first draft! (And then get cracking on the massive edits...)

Glad you're enjoying the query process. I hope when I reach that point I'll be able to look at it all with the same perspective (though, I hope, with fewer email checks).

Talli Roland said...

Welcome to the querymobile! It's a ride, that's for sure. Good luck and don't hurt Gmail! :)

My Blog is Down So I'm Temporarily Here

Kristin Rae said...

Congrats on querying!! Keep us posted on your progress!!
I'm excited to get to that point one day! My goal is to be querying my current WIP by the end of summer. Fingers crossed!

Anna Zagar said...

Hate to tell you, but even AFTER you sign with an agent, you still watch your email like your next breath depends on it. When said agent submits your work to EDITORS, that's when you start to wonder if you made it this far to fail when it really, really counts. That's when your fingernails get shorter, your hair gets thinner and possibly gray (at 29!), and your perfect porcelain complexion has erupted so many zits you could probably land a free sample of Proactive. Er, so I've heard... :)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Nate - sometimes i have to force it, but if i force it long enough, the fun just becomes natural

Talli - LOL i'll try to leave Gmail in one piece

Kristin - you can totally do it by the end of the summer! That's plenty of time!

Anna - LOL oh i'm sure, but until i cross that bridge, this is where i'm at

Jen Daiker said...

I dove in last month and it hasn't gotten any easier. The further I dive in the more miserable I get. I had to pull myself away from commenting and gmail just to avoid the internet for awhile.

The stalking when someone has your full. The rejections piling in. The skip your heart feels when you see MAIL. Ugh... in the end it'll be worth it, but getting there isn't always the easiest.

Spakedom said...

Eergh. That reminds me. I'm supposed to mail out my query this month. Whoops.

Glad you're having fun with it :)

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