Surviving Querying

So you’re in the trenches sending out query letters and refreshing your inbox obsessively for a response to magically appear. ME TOO! So, how do we get through this process together? Well, let’s check it out with 5 tips that are currently helping me.


1. Work on a new project.

I know, you want to keep working and tweaking and perfecting what you’re querying… but right now, put it down. Put it down. Really, stop it. Stop it and start on something else. You remember that shiny new idea beating down your door when you were hip deep in your previous project? Go catch up with it, see if that New Shiny Idea is ready to become a full fledged piece.


2. Keep good records.

Keep track of who you’ve sent queries too and when/what they responded. You can do this in your own excel sheet, or on a site like QueryTracker. Knowing what responses you’re getting keeps you on track.


3. Immediately get rid of rejections.

Look, rejection sucks. It just does and there’s no way around that. The second I get a rejection letter for an agent, I note the response in my tracking system then shove that rejection into another file in my inbox so it doesn’t just hang out in my inbox. Don’t dwell on it and don’t respond with hellfire to any rejection you get.


4. Go do something fun.

You’ve probably been working on this project you’re querying for a quite a while. Go out and do something fun. See a movie you’ve been excited about, try that new class, read a book, start a garden. Do something fun and make sure you’re refilling the creative well.


5. Remember it’s not personal.

I know this novel holds your heart and soul. You’ve poured yourself into this novel and when someone rejects the novel, it can feel a whole lot like they’re rejecting you as a person. They aren’t. It’s not personal and no one hates you. Take a deep breath and remember this is your novel not you.


Querying can be tough and it can require a lot of self-care to get through. It’s also totally okay to realize you’re not at a place where you can take the highs and lows of querying. Do what fits your needs and your health at the moment, but don’t give up.