I still do not have an agent for my book, and I’m not disappointed by it. I know this quest is going to take a lot of time. Thankfully, I have the patience for it.
It’s been over a month since I’ve sent out my query letters. I’ve gotten a few rejections and many non-responses. So, I’m thinking it’s time I set up another batch of letters to send out.
Querying for an agent is a waiting game. You really can’t do anything about how long it will take to hear back from an agent, if at all, considering all the other people in the writer community trying to do the same thing.
So, while I’m waiting, I’m writing. If you follow my blog, you know I won Camp NaNoWriMo in July, and I wrote the first 50,000 words of a new novel I’m working on. It’s part of a trilogy, so it’s a massive project I’m undertaking.
Working on a new project while you’re playing the waiting game is important for a number of reasons.
It’s a nice distraction.
If you spend everyday refreshing your inbox in hopes of getting a response from an agent, you are going to build so much stress inside of you that you will burst.
You worked so hard on that novel. Of course, all you want to do is hear from an agent, but you’re going to be waiting a long time. While working on a new project, you can find yourself enjoying a nice distraction.
When you do finally hear from an agent, it’ll be a great surprise. Don’t focus so much on those letters when there are other books inside you that want to be written.
You should exercise your writing skills.
It can be very easy to put up your feet and set down your pen as you wait for query responses. You worked on that novel, and now all you have to do is wait. Why not enjoy some time off from writing?
Well, firstly, writing, though it can come naturally, is still something that needs to be practiced constantly. You can only get better by writing, not by sitting around.
When that amazing moment comes when you get an agent, the real work begins. You’ll have a lot of editing, revising, and re-writing that you’ll have to do. If you spend months just waiting around without writing, you may find it difficult to come back to the practice, especially with a deadline set by your agent.
Working on somthing new will stop you from fixing what’s been sent out.
If you’re the type to keep working on your WIP until it’s perfect, you will never see that book published. Once you’ve sent out those first five pages to some agents, you can’t revise them. The agent has those to look at, not what you’ve revised the next day on your laptop.
Eventually, it’s time to stop writing and to put out the best work you can. You’ll have plenty of revisions to do when you get that agent and all those red notes on the pages.
Distance is good.
No matter how close to your heart a book can be, it will eventually lose its fire. After the tenth round of edits, you may start to lose your excitement for your story. When you’ve read the same chapters thousands of times, it’s reasonable to feel less passionate about it than when you started.
So, take the time waiting for agents’ replies to give yourself some good distance away from that manuscript. Work on something that makes your heart flutter. It doesn’t mean you love that first manuscript any less.
When you get back to it for revisions from your agent, you’ll be seeing it with a fresh pair of eyes, and you will see that fire burning again the way it did when you first started.
I’ll definitely be sending out that next round of query letters soon. Cross your fingers for me!