Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Life in the Query Trenches


Well, hello there! It’s been ages since I’ve seen you, faithful readers. Re-launching my blog is one of my goals for 2018. I’m a little late in getting there but my heart’s in the right place. How best to reboot the blog than discuss things in my writing life. In the next few weeks, I hope to share my Pitch Wars experience.
Since early January I’ve been conducting trench warfare; that is, query trench warfare.

It’s not really war at all but using the word adds a little spice to things. Essentially, as those of you know who are in those trenches yourselves, querying involves a lot of waiting…and waiting…and waiting.
So, as a very impatient person it’s not my favorite activity but it’s all part of the process.


I already knew about the waiting so, while challenging, it’s not news. But I have learned a couple of things:
First, the market and subsequently, agent preferences, can change in a year or two. The first time I queried my contemporary middle grade novel, I received a host of positive responses. The story was much thinner in terms of plot, but it still garnered some requests. I’m still early in the query stage but have noticed how interest in that type of story has changed. It’s just a reminder to not write to trends (which I didn’t).

Second, building relationships with writers, editors and agents has helped me endure the process. Through Pitch Wars and Twitter, I’ve met some outstanding fellow writers, some at the same stage in their career, some on different paths and in different stages. When I queried in the past, I really didn’t have that support and I’ve found it invaluable, just to keep moving forward day-to-day. I really believe a lot of the connections I’ve made will be for the long haul.
I’ll speak to this further when I share my Pitch Wars journey but if you take anything away from this post, I hope it’s this: take the time to build relationships, nurture them, support others and be willing to be a sounding board. Encourage, don’t deflate.

We may all be on the journey to publication, but this doesn’t have to be a competition. It should be---it NEEDS to be---community.