Query Hell: My Journey So Far

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Pictured: An artist’s rendering of every writer going through the querying process.

I’ve talked about querying before on this blog, posting a brief snapshot into my journey towards becoming a ~REAL LIFE PUBLISHED AUTHOR~. You see, dear readers, I am 26 years old and have queried three novels so far. None of them have panned out! I’m glad the first one didn’t because it was a mess. The second one had some close calls, but it wasn’t the One. This third one is still in the nascent querying stages. The testing-the-waters stage, if you will.

I’ve sent out roughly 30 queries for this book. If that sounds like a lot to you, then you must be new. Which is fine! We’re all new to this process at some point. I was when I first started querying, and in the years since I sent out that very first letter, I feel as though I’ve improved enough to talk about it with some authority.

Dear readers, I am the type of person who quits when things get too hard. I get frustrated very easily, or I psyche myself out, and I quit. It’s a bad habit I’m still trying to kick. Let me tell you a little secret, dear readers: I quit querying both of my previous books very early on because I was so dejected by the rejections.

My advice?

DON’T DO THAT.

Querying takes a long time! For most of us, it’s not a cut and dry process! You read stories all the time about how INSERT FAMOUS AUTHOR HERE got a SEVEN-FIGURE BOOK DEAL after querying agents for TWO DAYS.

That doesn’t happen to the vast majority of just, no matter how badly we want it to.

With my current book. MIDNIGHT AT THE NEON TIGER, it’s been hard for me not to throw in the towel.  I wasn’t picked for Pitch Wars, the full manuscript has been rejected twice, and I’ve gotten a ton of form rejections that I’ve attempted to block from my memory all together.

It’s all part of the process, I tell myself.

And it is.

It also sucks to be told no all the time when you so badly want to hear yes.

If there’s anything this whole process has taught me, it’s this: You can always try again. That’s the beauty of writing. You can write another book. Send another query. Just don’t throw in the towel if this is something you really want for yourself.

Who knows? It might happen.

It might not.

Just keep trying.

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