Monday, September 17, 2012

Bye, summer

Sunday, September 16, 2012


It's still sucky getting a rejection but the pain of it has subsided from abject despair to something closer to "meh." What hasn't changed much is my level of anxiety every time I hit the "send" button on a query, despite the positive responses I've already received. Did I spell the agent's name right? Did I personalize it to the right agent or did I forget to change something from the last letter? Do I have a hidden typo? What if they tweet/blog/facebook about how ridiculous, silly, hopeless and delusional my letter is?

Probably the reason I haven't been sending them out in batches, why it takes a lot to build up to it. Also, I do a lot of careful research, or at least a reasonable amount of research, everything you're supposed to do -- what do the agents represent, of course (apparently a lot of aspiring writers don't care), what sorts of things have they sold, do they have a good reputation and do people seem to like them? Honestly, I tend to avoid the ones who say they won't respond if they're not interested. I get it -- they get hundreds of letters from jokers like me every day -- but I appreciate the acknowledgement of the time and work I put into sending a personalized letter, not to mention the time and effort I've put toward becoming a published author. (The act of finishing a novel alone should at least garner a polite "No, thank you.")

Yesterday's research-and-query marathon led to a restless night filled with dreams of haunted rooms and ephemeral blood-covered ghosts wielding axes. I'm afraid of the negative responses, sure. But it's crossed my mind that maybe I'm also afraid of someone finally saying "yes."

Something else to sleep on.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How NOT to handle rejection

Another this week -- so the project for today is query-rama. An awesome new friend has rightly encouraged me to "carpet bomb that shit." No more of this one-letter-a-week silliness. Everything I read tells me I should be encouraged that I'm getting personalized, detailed feedback from literary agents, and I believe that more now after learning how often agents get hate mail, some of it threatening. Shouldn't surprise me, but it does mostly because it's so incredibly stupid. You've just shown that you're not someone anyone would want to work with, for one thing, and for another, agents know each other and talk to each other, so the next one you query will already have a bead on your insanity. Plus you've just made it harder for the rest of us who actually have a chance. Dipshits.

Sadly sometimes the threats are real. On Thursday night California literary agent Pam van Hylckama (@BookaliciousPam) was allegedly attacked by a disgruntled writer. Luckily her dog bit him and the guy ran off. She's rethinking the whole foursquare thing now. We're in this always-connected-always-sharing world and though it brings us together it also allows the crazies to have more access. (Though possibly easier to apprehend... he left his address on the query...)