Monday, January 30, 2012

Resolutions - Send Out More Query Letters

One of my Writing Resolutions for this year is to "Send 100 Queries".  Here is how I plan to do it.

So the hard part is already completed: I've written my novel, I've created my query letter and I've researched dozens of literary agents to send both of these to.

The thing is that I've tried submitting for publication before but I've never been able to maintain a regular pace.  My pattern has been to send out a few queries, rest on my laurels, and wait for the rejections to come rolling in.  I don't send out a significant number of other queries until months pass.

The question, then, is why haven't I been sending out queries to literary agents and publishers at a scorching pace?

The answer: fear.

It takes an emotional toll to send out well-crafted and well-researched submissions only to have them returned (sometimes cruelly swiftly) with a form rejection or no response at all.  The non-responses are arguably worse because they keep hope alive.  If my pattern, as I've recently noticed, is to wait until most or all of my old queries are rejected before I send out new ones, then I am effectively handcuffing myself according to the whims of others.

It's time for me to take charge.

That's why, this year, I have vowed to send out 100 query letters.  Period.  End of story.

If they all get returned with form rejections in two days, so be it.  If none of them even get a response, oh well.  In either case, I've tried.  And what's more, I've given it a real sustained effort, not a haphazard Hail Mary shot.

Having a concrete goal has already made a difference.  Without the practice of sitting down in front of the computer and saying 'maybe I'll send out five queries today' and not revisiting them for five months, I am less concerned with the results and more concerned with the part of the process I can control -- getting my work out there.

It's a cruel world.  Rejections have already started to come in from the first nine queries I've submitted so far this year.  But I will press on.  Only 91 more to go.

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