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The Waiting Game

Some people are very bad at playing the waiting game. I am one of those people.

Patience is not among my virtues. I may write slowly (at least according to the I-can-finish-a-draft-in-30-days crowd), but I do everything else quickly. I read quickly, I code quickly, and I even eat quickly, much to the annoyance of my digestive system. I'm not particularly good at these things—I just have the patience of a five-year-old. If my brain is not fully absorbed in something interesting for more than two minutes, I'm bursting through Sweetie's office door whining, "I'm booored!"

So waiting four to six weeks for responses from literary agents is torturous for me and all unfortunate acquaintances in the vicinity. For the first two, I spent much of each day constantly checking my email and refreshing a website where other writers log their querying activities and results. I re-read my query and manuscript repeatedly, second-guessing every sentence. I pored over my favorite agents' blogs and Twitter accounts for clues as to when I might hear back. "This one's at a conference. That one's busy with a book launch. Ooh, this one's tweeting about query pet peeves; she might be reading them! I'll check my email again."

And then when I do, on occasion, receive a response, I get all excited for a split second before I see "Dear Author, Thank you for your query." Cue the trombone: wah wah waaaah. Then cue the inhalation of a layered cheesecake-and-chocolate-pudding pie, which, unfortunately, is not as great a combination as it looked online.

At least I'm not as crazy as the others. Some of my fellow queriers resemble lovelorn youths reading into every word and glance from an unrequited crush.

The rejections everyone else received said, "Your novel is charming, but I don't feel I'm the right agent to represent it." My rejection said, "Your novel is very charming, but I don't feel I'm the right agent to represent it." VERY charming! He loved it!

This agent sent me an email suggesting that I hire a ghostwriter. Not a form letter, a personal email. She must be really interested in my idea! I should rewrite the query and submit it again!

Other writers had to wait a week to be rejected by this agent. But she rejected me within an hour. That means my query was intriguing enough to read and respond to ASAP! It's a good sign, right? Right?

Before I sink to those pitiful depths, I have requested that Sweetie blacklist all of the query critiquing and agent tracking sites, plus a few writing blogs, from our home network. Now when I try to access them, a black and red WEBSITE BLOCKED screen chastises me for being weak.

And, as I just decided last night, I'm going to take the opportunity to duck out of the publishing world for one solid weekend. No literary blogs or forums, no Twitter, no guilty feelings for failing to dive right into my next book, which everyone says I need to do now now now. This is going to be a 100% neurosis-free retreat.

I will instead...

  1. Follow Luna's lead and take naps in front of the fire.
  2. Play video games. Sweetie installed three detective adventure games on my computer, so I have plenty of dead bodies to find and culprits to corner.
  3. Make a different pie. Maybe something with pumpkin. As soon as the temperature drops, I get pumpkin on the brain.


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