I didn’t think I would feel this way about pitching Sahar & the Seven Dudes Doc & the Seven to agents. I thought I’d feel excited about it. But I don’t.
I thought I could send out two queries a day, five days a week, but it turns out I can’t. And it’s only been two weeks.
Querying agents makes me anxious while I’m doing it and I feel depressed after I do it.
It feels like casting my line out to a sea of fish, but I have no idea if the fish even eat the bait I’m using.
It’s hard to send my queries out there and get no response back. And for some, I’ll never get a response back. As in, some agents say on their sites that if they don’t respond within 6-8-10 weeks, that means it’s a “no.”
So far, I’ve emailed out 15 queries in two weeks and I’ve received two rejections. Each rejection feels like a clump of soil thrown on my grave. Sorry to be dramatic, but it doesn’t feel good.
The advice out there is you shouldn’t take it personally and you should develop a thick skin. That sounds very practical but I’m going to be honest–getting rejections sucks. It sucks when I’ve worked on my novel for 31 months and I want good news at the end of all my hard work. Who wouldn’t? So, diving into the query trenches and getting mud thrown into my face every week with no good news, man, it’s painful.
I’ve thought it over and I’ve decided to query just two days a week from here on out. I think I need to do this for my own mental health and self-care. I can keep doing this if I know it’s just twice a week.
I’ll post every few weeks and let you know how it’s going. In the meantime, if you have a minute, please send some good luck thoughts my way. Thank you.
Peg Cheng is the author of The Contenders, a middle-grade novel that asks, can enemies become friends? She is currently querying a novel that is a re-imagining of the Snow White fairy tale set in 1980s Seattle. Peg is also the creator of Fear & Writing, a workshop for procrastinating writers from all walks of life.
Ed Cosgrove says
Cubby, I had to laugh at “Each rejection feels like a clump of soil thrown on my grave”–because I know exactly how you feel. Well, not exactly, because I haven’t submitted anything that’s taken 2 1/2 years of my life. But the rejection, no matter how polite, always feels like some angry prophet’s judgment on my soul.
Of course I tell myself it’ll be different this time. I’ll be professional. Cool. Not get my hopes up. It’s pretty useless, though–another thing I’ve not done is given birth, but maybe it’s just damn hard to be neutral about any creation that comes from inside you.
So I’ll commiserate, tell you to hang in there, but I wish I had good advice. Read famous authors talking about how many times they were rejected? Have Marcus handle the emails, and report back? I just wonder, though, in an online world, with its ease of submitting, if the process has become more impersonal, and even mechanical. Like if agents are getting a tsunami of submissions, are they sorting by algorithm just to decide what to glance at, let alone read?
But you’ve written an excellent book, and Sahar, Doc, Joe, and the gang deserve to be heard. So strategize, persevere, and good luck!
Peg Cheng says
You don’t know how much this comment means to me, Edgy. You wrote exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you, dear friend. I will strategize, persevere, and move forward. Onward!