Friday, November 11, 2016

With Great Querying Comes Great Rejections

If there’s any single aspect of being a writer that takes up more time than writing and reading, that aspect is probably querying.

Oh, querying. How optimistic you make me feel before you bangarang back around with a swift defeat. Writing requires resiliency, though. Rather, writing then attempting to be published requires resiliency.

Mostly because you’ll get plenty of non-writer friends saying things like, “JK Rowling was rejected, like, a million times,” or “Doesn’t Stephen King still get rejected? I read that somewhere.” Just pet them on the heads and say, “Shhhh, shush your beautiful mouth."

Rejections used to take a pretty hard toll on me. I’d need a drink, a nap, and then more drinks while I pouted and re-watched Parks & Rec for the hundredth time. How can you not be inspired to keep going when watching Leslie Knope? That woman gets shit done. If Leslie Knope can keep going after being recalled from the Pawnee City Council, I can keep sending out queries after rejections.

I would tally up the number of times the following have been collectively rejected, but that’s depressing so I’ll spare us all that pain. We’ll just put it this way: Rejections. Rejections for days.



Right now I’m not super busy with querying, but it takes up about half as much time as a part-time job. A quarter-time job, if you will. These are what I’m actively querying and submitting right now:

This is Now – novel
[This is totally just a pared down version of my query letter.]
This is Now is an 80,000 word new adult novel that follows Ina Wickham as she grapples with shaving those stubborn inches off of her waist and struggles to find her place in the adult world. 

Twenty-one-year-old Ina has spent most of her life trying to blend into the background. However, saddled with what her mother calls the “perfect birthing hips” and a height that teeters at six feet, standing out is all she’s ever done. Trapped in a sexless relationship, a nearly deadly trip to the emergency room drains Ina’s savings account and tensions rapidly rise in her cramped apartment.

Strapped for cash, Ina finds herself entangled in the world of alternative modeling where hiding is no longer an option. Tattoos and piercings, bright red lipstick, and shady weight loss tricks begin to dominate her life. As the fabric of her old life begins to unravel around her, Ina discovers the true cost of changing her clothes and she begins to wonder, is it worth it?


The Brothers Browne Lost and Found – short story
A quirky museum full of lost items gets just what it wants on its opening night – a visitor testimonial. The story of a lost and found item turns out to be bigger than anyone could have imagined.

The Longest Three Minutes – short story
Three minutes isn't much time, unless a life is on the line. So what happens when those three minutes are over? Not much happens for Gwen, but nothing is ever the same for Keith.

Are you querying or submitting anything right now?


16 comments:

  1. I'm querying with 3 partial/fulls out. It does take up time.

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    1. I don't think many of us realized just how much time querying takes up before we really go into it.

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  2. I'm not querying anything right now, but rejection is painful; I think it's partly because our writing is so personal to us and almost becomes a part of us in a way. I did get an encouraging rejection letter once, which gave me hope and motivation to try again.

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    1. I know it's difficult for agents and literary journals to take the time to reply with encouraging rejections because of how many submissions they tend to get, but it really is nice when one happens to roll in.

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  3. Okay, I wrote my first novel in 1995 or so. I was writing romance back then and I amassed a fairly good stack of rejections. I wrote for seven years and totally stressed over the fact that it was taking so long. Other authors would say, "It took 7 years to get published" and I was approaching 7 years and freaking out. Then my personal live went into turmoil and I went through a divorce. I stopped writing (but found blogging and built a readership on MySpace as a blogger). In 2007, when I picked up writing novels again, I realized that all that stress about how long it was taking and how many rejections I'd gotten didn't make one bit of a difference. Today I tell people it took me 20 years to get published and they gasp. But I don't see it as a failure--I see it as perseverance.

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    1. 20 years of hard work and dedication that ultimately led to your goal -- that's definitely perseverance! And also a good reminder to keep going.

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  4. No queries for me at the moment....thank goodness. grin.
    Toes crossed for you (fingers firmly planted on the keyboard).

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    1. Oooh, good call, my fingers need to get back to the keyboard too. *Toes up*
      Thanks Sandra!

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  5. Good luck with your submissions. I have several short stories out in competitions - the problem with that is the amount of time it takes to hear anything. One of the comps doesn't announce until May next year!

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    1. That's definitely one of the hard parts! I'm always keeping an eye on journal and competition submission periods.

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  6. Querying does take up so much time. Best wishes for you.

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  7. Well, I'm wowed by your query and the tag lines for your shorts! The last time I queried was two summers ago...and yup, took up the whole summer. And ended with allllmost good news, but then...no. Nope. No. Nuh-uh. Best of luck to you! I do agree that all it takes is a great query and perseverance. Maybe more the perseverance.... :) Christy

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    1. Thank you! And I think I agree with you. It feels like about 30% slammin' query, 70% perseverance (and coffee).

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  8. Wow! Your novel and your short stories sound awesome! Best wishes on all of your writing and querying!

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    1. Thanks! Still pushing through until I get a "yes" from someone.

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