Sunday, June 20, 2010

On Being Sufficiently Enthusiastic

I was intrigued by your query but not sufficiently enthusiastic to ask for more.

This is the latest rejection to my book. I’d be more upset except that I love the phrase ‘not sufficiently enthusiastic’ and can add it to my repertoire of comebacks.

Would you like to see a movie?
Mandy: I’m not sufficiently enthusiastic.

In all seriousness, I’ve queried 12 agents and received six rejections. For a while this week, my gmail account (the one set aside only for my writing life) became a sinister boogie man. My heart would race every time I checked the account, fearing another rejection would be lying in wait to shout ‘Boo!’ at me. For five days, the account has been empty, making me think all agents had gone on summer vacation or that my gmail account was broken. (After all, five had responded with form rejections within a day of getting my email query!) This morning’s email has assured me that neither was the case.

I’ve been hopping from blog to blog recently, reading about writers’ adventures and misadventures with agents and publishers. One writer broke it down this way:

  • 158 queries sent out
  • 17 requests for partial manuscripts to review
  • 82 no responses
  • 51 passes
  • 25 requests for the full manuscript

In the end, it took a brief conversation via Twitter for her to attract her agent. Wow. And I’m feeling hurt by six rejections? I’m not really feeling hurt. I’m feeling the enormity of the life I’ve chosen. That life entails querying, sometimes hundreds of times; bravely revising my manuscript; practicing patience; and most importantly, working on the NEXT book.

So, tomorrow, one of my designated writing days, I leave behind Cissy Pickering and her story and start up again with Hannah, an 18-year-old reluctant psychic.

At least this life isn’t boring.

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