The Waiting Game and Moving Forward

Tick, tock. Check my inbox. Nope, nada… Tick, tock. Check my inbox. Nope, nothing… Twiddle my fingers, twirl my hair, check my inbox. Nothing. Dammit!

Wait is hard. It sucks. I’m not good at waiting. I never have been honestly. I’m one of those people that decides something, then I want it to be. I decided I was ready to have a baby and it killed me having to try for a whole year. A YEAR!!! Gah! I decided I wanted a new coffee machine thingy. Thought I might wait and ask for it for Christmas, since it was already Thanksgiving. Nope. One week later, I was the proud new owner of a Keurig coffee machine and a wonderful little basket full of yummy new coffees, teas, and hot chocolates. Today’s choice is Carmel Vanilla Cream. Yummy! Moving on.

So, if you’ve been reading this blog, and I hope there are some strangers out there in cyberspace that are, then you know that I recently finished my novel, wrote my query and synopsis, and sent it out into Literary Land to be judged by various agents. So far, I’ve submitted queries (and synopsis if requested) to four agents. I’m really not sure how many agents it’s socially acceptable to submit to at one time, so I won’t be sending it out to anymore until I either hear back from these ones, or someone tells me it’s fine to keep submitting to new agents. Of those four agents, one replied – at the speed of fricken lightning! – with a form rejection letter. I’m assuming that means that they didn’t really look too deeply into my work and when they saw the genre, they simply deemed it not within their current interests. I’m not assuming that they read my work and didn’t like it. Not only would they have to have a speed reader available to achieve that task, but my work rocks! So there.

Now, as I wait to hear back about a request to see my manuscript – positive thoughts, people! – I’m finding the waiting to suck. Yep, it sucks. There’s just no other way to say it. I’m such a terrible waiter! To fill my time, I’ve been researching more agents, and preparing my queries for them in my drafts folder so that when needed, I can click send and the next query will be out in the world. However, I don’t want to waste too much time preparing queries, because there is a chance, whether big or small, that one of the currently queried agents will like what they see and want me. I mean my work.

That brings me to moving forward. It’s time. I didn’t expect this time to come up so quickly, but here it is nonetheless. It’s time to start novel #2! Wowza! How did that happen? I am fully aware that many authors never get their first book (possibly first few books!) published and that it’s in my best interest to keep writing because maybe book 2 will be the one that sells. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m a writer, so I’m going to write.

Maybe by the time I find an agent who is interested in representing me, I’ll have at least the start of another novel and possibly a few extra ideas formulating. An agent might like to see that I’m not a one-hit wonder and am currently working on a new project. So enough chit-chat already! Off I go to start formulating ideas and begin the journey of a new project.

But first, I need to go check my inbox…


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5 pings

  1. Shana Brodsky says:

    Your best bet is to completely forget that you even sent the queries out, because you will probably be waiting for three months to get a response, honestly. In the meantime just get started on your next book. By the time I got responses from people I queried, I had literally forgotten I had queried them and the response was a big surprise. I’m not sure what the etiquette is on mass mailing queries to agents, hopefully someone from HV RWA knows!

  2. Terri says:

    Yep. I know it’s hard, but concentrate on the next ms. If an agent nibbles at your query, he or she is likely to ask what else you’ve got.

    Something in you post raised a question for me: Did you research what genres the agents were acquiring before you queried them? Why query someone not interested in your genre?

    Don’t mean to be a downer but…since this is your first ms (and only?) are you certain you even need an agent at this point? What’s your target publisher? Unless you are dangling after a print publisher that doesn’t accept unagented submissions–such as Berkley or Grand Central–or unless you envision a series (which does not seem to the case) — you may not even need an agent now.

    You’ve taken a brave step! Best of luck with the queries.

    PS: You can take that any of your queries or that rejection and apply for RWA PRO Membership. You can get the application on the RWA web site: http://www.rwanational.org/

    1. hthurmeier says:

      Hey Terri!

      Yes, I’ve been researching what genres the agents are looking for and only submitting to the agents that meet my needs. However, the one that rejected me quickly, was a very large agency with many agents, authors etc. They basically said they accept everything, but just because they say they accept romance, doesn’t mean they want my variety of romance. As for needing an agent, I’m not sure if I do or don’t. It seems like the logical next step to me. I’m sure I could try a few publishers like Avon that don’t require an agent, but many of the houses I’d like to be published with will want agents. I plan on making this a career, not just a one book thing, so I figure why not try and establish a relationship with an agent now. If it doesn’t happen, I can still submit to publishers later on my own.

      PS, my novel is a single title, but I have a couple of ideas for sequels, so it’s possible I may be looking to publish a series.

  3. Janet Walters says:

    Heather, Start something new. That will chase the waiting away. I never send something out unless I’ve started something new. But good luck.

  4. Wendy Marcus says:

    Hi Heather!
    I am a terrible waiter too!!! After sending a paper submission to Silhouette, I stalked the mailman. How come some days he came at noon and others not until 2:30? Didn’t he know I was waiting for a letter? When waiting to hear back from an agent, I checked my e-mails so many times it got to the point I had to shut down my Internet if I wanted to get anything done. And FYI, both responses took MONTHS. The quick ones, at least in my experience, are usually the rejections. I once got one within fifteen minutes that said, “I just didn’t love the writing.” OUCH!

    Get started on your next manuscript. (Do as I say, not as I do!!!) Although I’m getting better!

    Good luck!

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