Mental Games – Preparation

It turns out I wasn’t mentally prepared to start getting rejections from my querying for When Life Hands You Lymes.

That’s not because I wasn’t expecting rejections, or that I didn’t want rejections (because, after all, that’s a part of the process). It’s simply because I wasn’t mentally prepared to receive any feedback so soon. From all the research I’d done I thought it would be weeks – possibly months – before I received rejections, and therefore I was prepared to settle in for a long wait.

So when rejections began trickling in, starting the very day I sent out my queries, I had to do some mental reworking and give up my expectations of penciling in “No Response” day after day in the planner.

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After my third rejection in as many days, I came to the conclusion that even though rejections are great (they’re getting me closer to my goal and making me money) they’re not very helpful when they’re simply a form rejection. Therefore, after thinking about it for a bit I asked God for the gift of some feedback along with the rejections. I figured that way I’d at least know if I was on the right track.

It was exciting when the very next rejection I received was written personally for me, and addressed a way the agent thought I could improve the query letter. So yay!

I spent the weekend at my adopted parent’s house and caught up on some reading for review, so I didn’t spend time working on querying. I’m looking forward to jumping back into the game this week, though. Researching agents has turned out to be a very time consuming task, but rewarding and fun at the same time. It’s so interesting to get to learn what the different agents are looking for, what they’re like on a more personal level (mostly from reading their Twitter), and also learning tid-bits about the publishing industry from them.

Happy Monday, y’all! I hope you have a fantastic week!

Querying, Rejections, and Reasons to Celebrate

There was a time when I thought seriously of not posting anything on Noveltea about querying for agents and all that fun stuff until I was on the other side of the process. But then I realized y’all have been with me for the rest of the journey, so why stop now?

Yesterday after months of preparation and research I sent out my first query letter at 10:32 in the morning. Throughout the day some other things came up – like cooking and dishes and babysitting my best friend’s little girl – but for the most part I stayed up in my office, drank lost of water and coffee, kinda decided to set aside the rest of my goals for the day, and focused on researching, researching, researching, and sending queries.

I sent out my last query for the day at 10:00 (although I did continue researching for another hour and a half). I was amused to no end when I received my first rejection at 10:04, literally four minutes after I had sent the query. At first I thought the email was simply a receipt, letting me know the query had been received or that the offices were closed (I received several of those yesterday). But no, it was a real, live rejection. (And yes, I had followed the guidelines on the website.)

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I took a few minutes to celebrate and sent a screenshot to several writerly friends because I figured the moment should be documented. See, I’ve decided that hopefully rejections are going to be an amazingly fun part of this journey.

Last year when I was researching the querying process nearly everyone talked about how hard it is to wait, wait, wait, and then receive rejection after rejection, after rejection. But it’s life! It’s part of what has to happen. (At least if you’re going the traditional route.)

So, I decided to make it into a game, and to celebrate a lot. For instance, I’m going to reward myself for every rejection I get. I’m also going to reward myself for every day that goes by and I don’t hear back from any agents. From the research I’ve done, that means I have a ton of rewards to look forward to.

I’ve not decided 100% on the type of rewards I’m going to give myself, but I’m fairly certain that each rejection and each day that goes by without hearing back from agents I’ll pay myself a certain amount of money or give myself a certain amount of time to work on Madalyn Emerson’s scrapbook. And yes, I realize that it sounds weird to pay myself, but there are some writerly things on Etsy and some books I would like to have, but generally wouldn’t buy. As for the scrapbook, that will have to wait for another post…. For now I’m just gonna reward myself by drinking way more coffee than normal and listening to Christmas music in January.

Have any of y’all queried? What did you do to make the process more fun?