March’ 23: The Perpetuity of Querying Anxiety, or Maybe My Skin Ain’t as Thick as I Thought

Thanks for reading! 

Any support, even just giving these posts a read, is always appreciated.

Recent Updates:

For once, I have some pretty significant a pretty exciting update!

In late February I got my first full request from an agent, and more specifically from an agent I thought I had no chance in even getting any interest from, much less enough interest that they decided to read the entire thing. 

This is really exciting for a number of reasons, all of which I will go into in the fascinations section of this newsletter. 

Be sure that I will keep a running update here of how that goes!

Project Progress:

I finished the post-apocalypse rough draft! It turns out that February was a very productive month for me overall, and I was able to wrap up a story that, in one form or another, had been haunting me for more than five years. 

Now, I’ve moved on to editing the horror novella that I finished the rough draft of back in the Fall of 2022. 

Recent Fascinations: Realizing the Limits of My Querying Resistance

All right, so, to get the celebration out of the way, glory glory I’ve gotten my first full request! The excitement I feel from this is impossible for me to explain. It is a high that I haven’t felt since my first short story acceptance, and it has really, really, made me more confident as a writer. 

The query that developed into my first (and as of writing only) full request was one of the original batch of six I sent out way back in December of ‘23. This particular query was to an agent that I would have described as my dream agent if I even thought there was a cold chance in hell. It was the long shot, straight from JV to the major leagues, unthinkable agent. The agent I sent a query to expecting a rejection but knowing I would hate myself if I had never taken the chance. 

For EIGHTY-NINE DAYS I watched the counter on that query tick up. Agents sent rejections, I sent out new queries, and the longshot ticked up. When I mentioned this particular query to my writer friends, I called it the “never gonna happen” query. I disregarded it, its status on my Query Manager page just a reminder that sometimes this whole writer thing requires us to take a chance or two.

I don’t think I’ll ever have the words to describe the feeling that came over me when the full request came in, but it is a high I’m still riding as I write this. My writing hadn’t just been noticed and recognized as something worth a second look, but noticed and recognized by an actual titan of the industry. With all of this joy, though, came a realization that maybe, just maybe, my skin isn’t quite as thick as I think it is. 

Throughout my querying journey so far, I have remained resilient to the wearing forces of the process. Rejection is part of the job, and I’ve taken each one with a smile. A rejection comes in, I send out a new query. I’ve solidified that process into something that I feel is sustainable. I’ve settled into a pace that works for me and my writing goals. Through all of this work I’ve managed to keep my expectations realistic, not anticipating anything beyond a rejection from any of the queries I’ve sent out. 

However, the moment that the realization around this first full request settled in, I knew that those emotional defenses have a limit. Even though I have no real expectations of anything coming from this full request, I also know that once that rejection comes in, I will be totally, absolutely crushed. 

I hope no reader of this misunderstands me, though. This full request has done a great deal to show me that my writing, and especially this dark fantasy manuscript, is worth something. It’s an irrefutable statement from the industry that this is all worth the effort. I also hope that any reader doesn’t think I’m dejected or self-depreciating when I say I expect nothing to come from this full request. I really, really, hope that this full turns into an offer. I think the work is worth it, I think I have a chance. 

But at the end of the day, I have to try to keep some semblance of realistic resistance against the coming barrage of rejections. Still, I know that whenever the response to this full does come, no matter what it is, I will feel it with my entire being. 

Thanks for reading.