Querying, Giving up, and Starting Over

Fearless/Less Fear necklace

I finished my novel in 2015. Then I started querying, got demotivated by rejections, and gave up.

Now I’m ready to start over.

While writing my novel, I followed all advice – learn about the craft, write every day, get feedback. I was positive I would make it. My novel would be a success.

Then I started querying and no requests came. I won a pitch contest but nothing came out of it. Things were not happening as fast as I imagined.

I know that querying takes time, that it may be awhile until you get that yes, but not even a request? What was wrong?

I got a critique from an agent for my first page and it completely deflated me. What if I never make it? Maybe my novel is not as good as I thought. Maybe I’m not meant to be a writer.

Fear can overpower you when you least expect it. One tiny deviation in your plan and everything can come spiraling out of control.

I was not ready for rejection. Even though I knew rejection is part of the process, I was still not ready. I thought I would be the exception.

You can say I gave up too quickly. I only queried 20 agents. You’re supposed to query 100 before you even think about moving on and then you start the process with another novel, not give up entirely. But I thought if I don’t make it with this novel, I’ll never make it. It’s now or never.

So I stopped querying. I stopped writing. Fixing my novel (again) felt like too much work. And fear paralyzed me.

Hormones also had a lot to do with my inaction. I got pregnant and was too tired to think about anything. I didn’t have that spark anymore, the one that pushed me to finish my novel in the first place.

And then my daughter was born and all I can think about now is my novel. It deserves to be out there. There was a lot of time and effort put into it. It may not be a masterpiece but there must be someone out there who will love it as much as I love it. Just one person is enough. I just have to find them.

So now I’m in the process of doing the hard work again. Facing my fear and fixing my novel. Sending it out to agents and publishers, and not giving up so easily this time. I owe it to myself and to my daughter. I want her to be proud of me.

What has been your experience with querying? Did you give up and start over like me? What was the outcome?

 

Photo credit: ylmworkshop on VisualHunt / CC BY

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