Monday, November 15, 2010

Here We Go Again

So of the four queries I was brave enough to put forth, I received my first form rejection today.  I wasn't surprised.  It was an agent I had already queried, back when the manuscript had 6000 more words and the query letter flat out sucked.  And even though I used my new and improved letter, my much more desirable word count, and even changed the title, the answer remained the same.  Oh well.  One down, three to go.  Or, it could be two down.  Unfortunately, one of the agents I queried, who I am really REALLY hoping to hear from, only responds on projects she's interested in.

I know agents think this is great, time-saving idea, but I HATE it.  Especially since this agent in particular doesn't give a time frame in which to assume she's passed on your project.  So, I have no idea if I should be holding out hope for a couple more weeks, or if the two that have passed are my death knell with her agency.  And while I do realize the volume of letters agents receive, is it really so hard to send out an automated rejection?  Silence just leaves me wondering if they ever received my e-mail in the first place.  And quite honestly, I put a LOT of work into my query letter, and would at least like some form of acknowledgement, even if it's a polite "no thanks".

So while my confidence is one again teetering after that dreaded e-mail this morning, I have to say it still beats silence.  At least I know the letter - the one that took me four months to write - was received and read, and worth the two seconds to push the rejection button.  And that's exactly my point: four months writing the book, four months writing the letter, countless hours revising.  I have to wonder if agents forget that an author's time is valuable, too.  Have a little respect for that SEND THE DAMN E-MAIL.

Silence, to me, just has this air of haughtiness to it.  Like your writing is so exceedingly unworthy it's not even fit for a response.  Most of us have been dreaming about this since we were old enough to string cohesive sentences together, and if you're going to dash our dreams, at least do it in a polite and semi-encouraging manner.

Geez... Perhaps I hate the silent rejection a little more than I realized.  So I suppose what I'm really trying to do is thank the agent who rejected me this morning, because at least she had the consideration to do so.  And while it truly is discouraging each time someone tells you they're not the "right fit" for you, most of them will remind you that another agent may feel differently.  And right now, I am not giving up hope that I will find that person.  So, off I go to send more queries into the world.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Confidence = Creativity

I'm finding that my ability and my desire to write lately is directly linked to my self confidence.  And at this point, pickin's are slim.  When I was inspired to write my first book, I wrote a little bit every day.  I heard conversations in my head constantly.  I was so determined to get the words down on the page that I finished in what I thought was damn good time.  Right after that, I created an outline of another story based on two smaller characters from the first.  I've written a good portion of it, and have a pretty good idea of what the unwritten portions will entail.  But the newest idea that presented itself has been a bit of a challenge.  I know it's a good concept.  I know I can make it an enjoyable read.  But given my e-mail inbox has been utterly silent since my re-entry to the world of querying (I know, a whopping 13 days ago), I can't help feeling like I might be wasting my time.  It doesn't seem wise to spend all this time nurturing these babies when I have a full time job, a house, a husband, and a lot of other things going on.  My dream is to devote myself to a writing career, but how do I know if I'm good enough? 

Now, when I start to write I'm finding myself staring blankly at the screen.  The concept that spun through my head like a whirlwind a few weeks ago has been disconcertingly quiet since.  I'm not obsessing over how to fill in the plot holes.  I'm not hearing witty banter in my head.  And it isn't because I don't want to write the story.  I just want to know I'm not wasting my time doing it.  Especially since the story in question is a prequel to the book I'm currently querying.  If I can't garner interest in that one, the other two are pretty much a done deal.  And not in a book deal sort of way. 

I need some positive feedback to feed my creativity!  This sucks!   

Monday, November 1, 2010

New & Improved

So just days after my last, somewhat rant-ish post, I discovered the correct label for my college girls on Janet Reid's Query Shark site: they are NEW adults! 

Somehow, this is much easier for me to accept than plain old adults.  I'm slowly loosening my desperate grasp on the YA label.  If they're NEW adults, they're still allowed to make mistakes.  Anyone who is new at anything is practically EXPECTED to make mistakes!  So that means they're allowed to think like their former selves- the people they were before they crossed that invisible line from an 18 year old YA to a nineteen and beyond  NA.

Of course, the term doesn't appear in either of the two queries I sent out last week.  But I do mention one of the girls is a college student in the body of my letter.  Hopefully, that's good enough.  I'm really hoping for some positive feedback with this round of queries, and then maybe I'll even tell my mother or my sister I've written a book.  Thus far, only four people on the planet know.  I just don't want everyone and their mother (or my mother) to be aware of my failure, if that's what this becomes.  There's nothing like trying to do what you love, only to be shut down again and again.  It's a real boost to the old self-esteem (not).  But then again, if I succeed... I'll know I've done it without any one holding my hand.  And isn't standing on your two feet, regardless of the outcome, all part of being an adult anyway?