(This question is part of a larger subseries called Perpetual WIPs: Querying Writers. For the remaining questions, see here.)
Outside of actual agent responses to your query, what during the process have you found the most uplifting? The most disheartening?
Uplifting – community around writing
Disheartening – how hard it seems to break through and the lack of professional feedback on my work for less than $400.
Meeting new friends from the query trenches/contests. Oh, and I LOVE when people I follow or know from QT get signed, the success stories are the best. Disheartening….when writers I know have awesome books don’t get the requests/attention they deserve.
Uplifting: Seeing my CPs get agents and knowing that this business really is completely subjective.
Disheartening: Knowing that this business is so subjective
It’s been wonderful being able to connect with other writers, whether on Twitter, through contests or on blogs. I’ve met some fantastic CPs and gotten some incredible feedback, and I also like to think I’ve been able to offer constructive feedback for other writers. I suppose I don’t get easily disheartened, actually. I’m generally a pretty optimistic person, which is helpful while going through this process.
I love connecting with other writers. I am most disheartened by all the rejects without an apparent reason, even if it’s just one thing like “your query wasn’t convincing” or “Your manuscript didn’t do it for me.” We have no idea why the rejections are coming!
Aside from requests, the most uplifting is getting a critique from someone who loves it. These aren’t agents, but they keep my spirits up during the process and reassure me that I’m on the right track. The most disheartening is in line with what I said above, getting those rejections that don’t give you anything to work with. In June, I stopped querying because I’d gotten so many requests I wanted to wait and see if any rejections came with feedback. When none of the feedback lined up, I decided to jump back into querying. It’s so hard to know when to wait and when to push forward. That’s what’s hardest for me. At this point, especially since I’ve finished a draft of something new, I’m pushing forward and hoping I’ll find that one agent who is the perfect fit.
Most uplifting: I won an award at a regional SCBWI conference with the first 10 pages of this manuscript. I definitely added that to my query!
Most disheartening: When an agent who seems perfect requests the full and then doesn’t take it on in the end.
Most uplifting: definitely the folks on the Internet who have read my query, opening pages, and full manuscript and offered their critique without searching for anything in routine.
Most disheartening: being in contests and watching the entries around you fill up with requests, while for yours, as Hamlet would say, “The rest is silence.”
Fun stuff to relive, right? Feel free to share yours in the comments!