17 September 2010


Hey all.

Up to 11 followers! Totally excited!!!! Maybe I'll do that giveaway after all, once I figure out exactly how to go about that...I didn't really think it all the way through.

Figured I'd shell out some stats for you before I konk out for the night (9:45 comes REALLY early when you're accustomed to waking up at noon).

So far, I've sent out 12 queries since August. I'm a weenie. I have to do small batches because the enormous burden of waiting for responses (or not getting one at all) weighs down on my shoulders like a giant on top of a midget. Out of the responses I've gotten, 7 have been form rejections, and I closed one because the agent would only respond within a week if interested. Of the 7, three were from agents I would have lopped off a limb to work with. I'm still waiting for responses for the other four.

So...that's about a...66% fail rate. That sucks. Hard. So what does one do in this situation?

Well, for those who haven't begun querying, don't fret. This type of thing happens a lot, and (depending on your genre), there are A LOT of agents out there. What you do is buck up, continue writing, continue working on your letter (b/c apparently you're supposed to have something like a 20% positive response rate to know your letter is somewhat effective), continue hoping. Agent Query has a great listing of agents and will tell who isn't accepting unsolicited manuscripts so you don't waste your time. There are other sites to tell you that, there are conferences if you're lucky enough to have the time, money, mode of transportation, and job that will give you that time off to go where you can meet agents and pitch to them. Writing is a lot of work in and of itself (as the previous post points out), but the REAL work starts when you decide to pursue publication. That's when you realize what you're made of, if you're tenacious to follow the long, winding, pothole-filled road of peril that is publishing. Because it's a pain. But...it's what we do.

I am by no means an expert at the publishing game (obviously) but I'm learning. I learn a LOT from the agent blogs on my blog roll. I learn a lot from my friends at QT. I learn a lot from just reading and researching. Writing and publishing evolve constantly. The road isn't easy, and not everyone is cut out for it. This is when you learn the most about yourself, what you're willing to sacrifice to make it and what you're not. Sanity, time, money, effort, hope, fear, self-doubt...you'll have to give up a lot of it and deal with the rest. And sometimes, hope can be a bitch. Others, it can be your best friend. Doubt and fear aren't necessarily your enemies. They can be the markers that let you know you're on the right path. You wouldn't care so much if it didn't mean so much. And, honestly, if it doesn't mean anything then you shouldn't be doing it.

For me and for so many others, writing isn't a hobby. The nitty-gritty of it is that writing is like breathing. Letting words flow out of me is as necessary as eating or sleeping. If I'm not physically writing, my brain is thinking. Always thinking. Devising plots or twists or climaxes. Or, rarely, helpful information for blogs ;) Writing isn't a part of me; it IS me. And maybe that's dangerous, but publication or not, I HAVE to write. It's essential to my sanity. There's only so much room in my brain for thoughts, and some of those thoughts need to pertain to my actual life. But only a few.

So right now, in addition to my 33% unanswered rate (half-full here, folks), I have 7500 words on a new WIP and I'm working out the kinks to the one I'm outlining. Both of those are in completely different genres than the one I'm querying (that one's SF, these are fantasy and paranormal thriller respectively), so I get a little bit of a break. So, maybe if my first written novel isn't my first published novel, I can at least take refuge knowing that I've tried. And hopefully someone will want to see a partial or full. And then they'll fall in love with me. And then I'll have an agent :D

Q4U: My faithful readers, I know not all of you are writers hungering for publication, but I know that you're all creative in your own ways. What do you do when you hear that little voice in your head telling you to give up? Or do you even have one?


clp3333 said...

When things get hard I play Fallout 3 and then give up. But really my wife encourages the crap out of me. One of my betas is the most supportive people on the planet and think my work is outstanding so I intermittently give her something I'm working on and she line edits it for me and then heaps praise on me. But really I just know that if I turn 65 and I can either look back at all of the accolades possible that come with being a successful teacher or all of the accolades possible that come with being a published children's author that my dream and what I really want is to get published so I keep at it.

Anonymous said...

That little voice? I pretend it's You Know Who, and visualize me punching it in the face.

Much love. You'll get there... I have 100% confidence you in. <3

lexcade said...

thanks, guys. clp (weird, since those are my initials...), i often turn to video games as well. my current favorite is brutal legend. something about an awesome metal tracklist plus running over stuff in a car is awesome. and somehow inspiring.

mo, thanks. :) i'm lucky to have such great support