Courage to Click.

I’ve been thinking about this process, the querying process.  I realize that many writers find this task utterly daunting because of the many (and basically guaranteed) opportunities for “rejection”.  Yes, rejection in quotes.

I decided to look at the query as a kind of reverse interview.  Let’s say you are a manager at a restaurant for example.  You post a sign in the window or a link on the website: “Now Hiring”.  People come to you, applications filled out, requesting interviews.  You grant them.  You talk to several people, assessing their qualities, gauging whether or not they can be an asset to your company, your team.  If yes, then you hire, if not, then you don’t.  Rather simple.  Not personal.  You hire the person you think will be the best fit, not because you didn’t like the others, but they weren’t exactly what you are looking for in an employee.

In the query process, the writer with the manuscript is the manager with the opening, not the hopeful person looking for a job.  The query is the author’s “Now Hiring” sign.  Granted, the author has to send out individual queries, which is about the equivalent of the manager going door to door with a job description, asking potential employees one by one if they would like the job.  When the person you query says no, it isn’t a rejection.  It is an employee saying, “I’m not right for this job.”  It is an agent looking at the job description, and telling you they are not the right fit.

The goal is not just to find an agent/publisher/employee, but the right one, the one that fits.  If you’ve done the work as a writer, you’ve got an opening for a job that’s solid, a job that someone out there wants.  And once someone wants it, you still are the one who decides whether or not to hire.

Thinking about the process this way is what gives me the courage to close my eyes and click “send”.  If an agent doesn’t want the job, it is not personal.  It’s not about the job, it’s about the fit.

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14 thoughts on “Courage to Click.

  1. Love this. I haven’t looked at it in exactly this same way, but I have the same attitude. A rejection isn’t an indication that your manuscript isn’t worthy; rather, it speaks more to the frame of mind the agent is in when reading and/or what he is looking for at any given time.

    Mary Kubica, author of “The Good Girl,” has an amazing story. She queried her book for the longest time without success. She put her book “on the shelf” and moved on. Two years later, she heard back from one of the agents who’d rejected her. The agent hadn’t been able to get her manuscript out of her head in those two years. When she originally read it, she wasn’t in a position to accept it…either because it wasn’t what she was looking for, or whatever.

    Never give up. Awesome post this morning. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Rejections” never come with reasons, so we can only really speculate as to why any manuscript was not taken on at any given time. I find that I am always editing my work either in my head or on the paper or as I write, and the goal is to make it as polished as possible, and at some point, i know that someone will love it and in the meantime, I do! That’s enough. Many authors have stories like the one you mentioned about Mary. Publishing is a slow process. I try to enjoy the journey.

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    2. Thank you! It’s true that you never know what’s behind those form rejection letters. Oddly, I was checking my outbox the other day and saw that there were three agents i had queried that hadn’t gotten back to me yet. It was September when i submitted, which wasn’t that long ago,so now i am still feeling hopeful!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really does take forever just to hear back sometimes! I swear, I have to keep a running log of where I have submitted, to whom and when. I probably send out three new submissions a month!

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      2. It’s free to use, but the small yearly fee is definitely worth the money. I *NEVER* buy those things, but I found it infinitely helpful.

        Best of luck to you finding an agent! It’s a grueling process, but remember to never accept “no” until it’s YOUR “no.”

        Liked by 1 person

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