I know it’s been a while since I updated this blog. The fall has been crazy. I’ve had a lot of editing clients piling on my with my video business, I got through Pitch Wars, and I still sustain a full time job as a chemist.
But as of last Thursday, I am officially in the query trenches for PARADISA! I was fortunate to get two requests during the agent round of Pitch Wars, one from Laura Zats of Red Sofa and the other from Brianne Johnson of Writers House.
This is my first time every querying a novel…and I definitely understand the common held despair now. I don’t take rejections personally, really. I’ve accumulated a great lot of them this year as I’ve tried to get short fiction published. But there is a certain nagging doubt in the back of my mind as I go through this. “What if everyone rejects? What if no one wants this?” The logical part of me knows this is a numbers game, and that if I’m getting a full request for every 10-15 rejects, I’m doing well. Heck, I already do have a full request, which is promising. But as a writer trying to get published, it’s easy to see your odds flaring down into a funnel shape, and only one or two gets to be at the pinpoint. Maybe 10% of people get partial requests. Of them, 10% might get fulls. Of them, 10% might get an offer of rep. You can beat out literally 998 people, but unless you beat out 999, you’re right where you started.
Still, the odds were very slim for Pitch Wars – and Michelle Hazen still picked me out of the 60+ manuscripts in her inbox. It’s a lot like dating. I dunno what Austin sees in me, and the statistical odds of finding someone as awesome as him are probably extraordinary. But it still happened.
The Pitch Wars Mentee group does a good job at alleviating these doubts. Those getting multiple offers of rep are still getting rejections. And as always, Michael Mammay and the other PW mentors are great sources of wisdom when they say that patience is a virtue and “Everything moves slowly, until it doesn’t.”
I’ve been through this before, with job hunting and short fiction and starting my business. Uncertainty is scary. But my very first rejection was a personalized response from Russell Galen, the king of agents, in which he complimented my query. In that moment I had the thought, “I think I’m going to be okay.”