Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Power of Mindset when Querying

Today (and last night) we were discussing the query process one of my group's going through. She's at that point in the query process where you wonder if really truly you've just lost your mind. And I told her some things I'd like to set out here too, because we weren't the first writers to go through this and we sure won't be the last.

 

FIRST: Your life - Use it


I know you want to obsessively check that email time and time again. I know. And go ahead and do it if you want to.

 

But.

 

Your life consists of other things besides for the querying. The next book. Your family. Your pets. Your house. Your health. Your friends. Don't lose sight of them just because you're going nuts sending queries here and yon. And make yourself (if you have to) get out of the query mode to come up for air and see what you've got.

 

SECOND: The Truth About Agents.

 

They aren't gods. They are looking for books that sing to their heart. Do NOT take rejections personally…although I know it's very difficult to do. Read and weep for your designated crybaby time (mine was 30 minutes). Then dust yourself off and REVENGE QUERY.

 

Another fact? Most of them won't write back. It's just how they are, nothing against you.

 

Kate Schafer had a great couple posts up recently about her thought process when going through her query stack. It made for interesting reading.

 

THIRD: You only need ONE.

 

That was my mantra. And sometimes, just sometimes, you'll end up getting other offers. Stick with your gut and take the one you feel would be best for you and your book, and have faith in your decision.

 

Very interesting point here: Your beloved manuscript will probably need some rewrites. 


I'd never heard of it before. I thought once you got "the call" you'd just magically go to submission. *snort* But once I started googling I discovered others. It's just normal.

 

FOURTH:  Mindset : it's everything.

 

Believe in yourself. Believe in your book. Envision and take the steps to get where you want. It will happen. But defeatist attitudes will get you nowhere.

 

7 comments:

Heidi the Hick said...

You know what, even though I'd known all this, (obsessive googling and blog reading) I makes SUCH a big difference to hear it first hand, from someone I feel closer to, and who's just been through the whole process very recently.

To put it all in words like this... reassuring and helpful.

I think part of my problem is that I've dragged the whole thing out sooo long because I've forced myself to be extra careful and not rush through the whole thing. I make mistakes when I rush. But in the opposite situation I think I've just burned myself out.

I'm okay. I'm going to clean Susan's barn this morning (which I love doing) and then I'm getting on with my day. Thank you Jen --this is a great, excellent post that all querying writers should print out and hang above the desk!!

JKB said...

MMM barnwork. That is always good for what ales ya.

And keep in mind - if I would have read this when I was querying I'd be like ah, ja, right. My hubs had to pull me away from the computer. I tried and since I didn't have horses to go to I failed. :( But it seems that this helps me too, in the revisions stage. I don't think that panic ever goes away.

Or at least I'm feeling it now too. You're always upping the ante, you know? What you have to lose just becomes stronger.

I think you're going to do just fine. Remember, I've read the book and I'm a picky b*stid.

:)

MMM horses...please kiss them for me too?

JKB said...

Um yes, I'm an editor in the day job. that is ails not ales.

pseudosu said...

Thanks for the post and the link to Kate's blog. She'd asked for a partial of mine but passed, "not compelled by the voice"-- (ugh, someone pull the dagger out...)
Seriously, although it wasn't what I wanted to hear I appreciated her frankness.
I've revised, and have a bunch more queries out, and another partial and a full. The waiting is excruciating, but reminds me of waiting to hear about anything big-- selling a house, getting a job, medical stuff-- you eventually get anxiety fatigue, which is kind of a blessing, and do go on with your life.

JKB said...

So true, Pseudosu...I'd much rather hear it straight out.

But I always thought anything really worthwhile was worth struggling for. I still believe this.

Hey - keep me updated on your status!

Heidi said...

Great post (even though I heard this through our emails too!). I'm almost panicky about starting the process. Excited as heck, but panicky.

It's too bad our emotions don't always listen to our brains, isn't it? That's why it's great to have friends around to remind us.

Okay, I'm off to visualize!

JenWriter said...

I'm absolutely mentally exhausted by this whole thing. The waiting, the email checking, the ups, the downs. It's insanity! But it'll be worth it in the end if something comes of it. If not, on to the next book which I'm finally working on.