Thursday, June 24, 2010

So you want to get an agent... Part 4

Patience and Persistence

Patient: Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness; tolerant, understanding; capable of remaining calm awaiting an outcome or a result

Persistent: Refusing to give up or let go, persevering obstinately; insistently repetitive or continuous.

This is the hardest part of all. When it comes down to it, I'm the kind of person who likes to see things go. I'm not good at waiting around for the answer to finally come.

I prefer getting out there and working to sitting around and waiting.

And yet, in finding an agent or an editor, one must endure the excruciating pain of the waiting game.

You've sent your query letters. Some have asked you for a partial, maybe even a full. Now what do you do?

Answer: nothing.

Sure, you go on living life as normal, kind of, but this is one of those rare cases where no amount of work on your end is going to speed up the agent/editor's answer. True, sometimes there is such a thing as "nudging" when over a month has gone by, but let's face it, a month can feel like forever.

Then, you finally get your answer, and it's "NO". Now what? That's where persistence comes in. Go read the definition again. You simply can't give up. Maybe it's time to send out more queries.

I'll tell you my own experience so you can see how well I failed at following my own advice......

The first positive response I got from my query letters was a full manuscript request. Suddenly, I was in heaven. Someone finally wanted to see my work. And not just a little of it, they wanted the whole thing. I sent it off and searched the Internet for every possible detail about the agent. This was it. We were going to make a great match.

And then the answer came back "No".

Devastation . I knew this lucky chance was probably going to be my last. It was all over.

Uhm, talk about having faith in myself....

So, I cried. Had a bad day. And then sent out a bunch more query letters the next week. It made me feel like I was doing something constructive.

And then more requests came. Partials, fulls, and all the sudden I realized that things might start to fall into place.

But I still received lots of rejections to go along with it. Don't get me wrong, I'm still receiving them. I guess that's the beauty of querying a lot of agents. You WILL get a lot of rejections, and hopefully a lot of requests too.

So where I may have failed in the patience department, I made up for in persistence. And, the truth is, persistence is what gets the job done. Patience just makes you easier to live with in the meantime.

For all you patient people out there- kudos to you. I'm still working on it. And, as it turns out, getting an agent isn't the end of rejections and the requirement of patience. It's the beginning of a whole new level of the two.

1 comment:

Cholisose said...

This is perhaps the hardest part about writing for me. Putting in hundreds and hundreds of hours into a book and getting nothing but rejections in return is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. Especially when you read published books that you feel are much worse! Just have to keep at it though--that's what they all say. :]