By the time you read this post, it will have been four weeks since I mailed out my queries for Doomsday Dragons.
The first week after they were gone, I was still combing through the manuscript. I read it aloud. Strengthened the sentences with stronger verbs and more precise nouns and descriptors. Tried to polish it to a sparkling gem.
Then I closed the Scrivener file and moved on to a different project.
What? Did I check my email every ten minutes looking for manuscript requests?
Not really. But I didn’t need to.
Shock of all shockers, I had answers to some of the queries in the very first week.
In fact, within six days, three agents responded with “no thanks.” I was impressed by this because all of them requested between four to eight weeks to get through their queries.
One of these only allowed query letters. Their only taste of my story came from the query description. Obviously, they weren’t impressed by dragons.
The others? I guessed they also probably weren’t piqued by a dragon story. It takes a very specific sort of person to imbibe the myth and fire.
The fourth response was a notice of an undeliverable mail. So even though I checked all the links and double-checked all the email addresses, one of the agencies was no longer receiving mail at the address they advertised on their website.
Four of twelve responses within one week. Not too shabby.
Except they all amounted to 100 percent rejection.
There were just as many who made no promise to even respond to every query.
Of the twelve, four of them said that hearing nothing after a certain time frame would be equal to a “no thank you” email.
The surprise? The amount of time given before drawing this conclusion ranged from two weeks to twelve weeks.
Talk about holding out hope.
Or maybe it would be more accurate to assume dashed hopes. And then if an email magically appears, it can only be good news.
People I Pitched
Of course, the two people I pitched my idea to at the writer’s conference will get the full 90 to 120 days before I begin to assume the worst.
At least they’ll respond.
I hope they’ll remember me favorably enough to offer advice if they decide the project isn’t for them. Don’t I deserve at least that much?
The Rest of the Pack
That leaves only two out of twelve agencies that will still respond to me sometime during this lengthy waiting period.
Fortunately, I’m not holding my breath.
I’m not sitting on my hands or biting my nails.
I’m following the professional writer’s prescription for winning this waiting game: write something new.
In fact, I had to polish a novella that’s coming out in a month or two and deliver it to an editor. Then I nibbled on the idea for another short story.
And, of course, the women’s fiction novel I’d begun writing while waiting for the last of the beta edits on Doomsday Dragon still needed finishing.
The best way to insure a watched pot boils is to walk away.
In writing terms: write something else without constantly checking your in-box.
What about you? What are your tricks for making waiting bearable? Please share. Not that any of us our impatient or anything…