This post is part of the Creative Process series, in which I will whine, cry, and philosophize about my life as a fiction writer. In the worst case scenario, fellow struggling artists will be heartened by my constant failures. In the best case scenario, a best-selling novel just might be written.
After receiving feedback from my awesome beta readers, I began the torturous process of revision. Today, I can say that I have a draft I’m satisfied with, though — as any writer will tell you — there’s really no such thing as a “final” draft. I was going to write a post on the editing process, but realized that I would have no idea what to write. I didn’t have much of a strategy; I simply reread and rewrote until I was satisfied. The only thing I could recommend is to take a month off to get a bit of objective distance from your work. Then, just take a crack at it and work in the suggestions from your beta readers (but only the ones you agree with, of course).
In any case, I’ve sent out queries to 11 literary agents thus far. I might write a post on querying if you guys would be interested, because that’s something I put a lot of research into. This post, however, is about the agony of waiting. In the past, when queries were sent snail mail, you would at least receive a form rejection via your SASE. Now, agents simply ignore your email query if they’re not interested. The fact that agencies usually take weeks to even get to your query means that you’ll never know if they’ve reviewed it or if they’ve already rejected it!
This is enough to drive someone like me (i.e. impatient, perfectionist, neurotic) crazy. I’ve been checking my emails obsessively and going on a rampage deleting spam (J. Crew you won’t be able to tempt me!). I actually received a very encouraging rejection email from an agent who told me that my premise was interesting. This morning, I got my second official rejection. It was nice of both agencies to actually reply, but the sting of rejection hurts. Currently, my mind is going wild wondering if I’ve already been dumped by the other nine agents.
The silent treatment sucks. Won’t anyone care to read this lovely manuscript?
Then again, Picoult herself was rejected by 100 agents before being published. Garth Stein fired his own agent because she told him she couldn’t sell his book. Sigh. I will have patience, and not let my fear of rejection get the best of me.
Have any of you queried agents? Do you have advice for me while I sit tight and wait it out?