Recently, one of my query godmother clients emailed me about her desire to quit. She didn’t feel like she was ever going to get the query right. It just wasn’t coming together. And maybe, maybe, she thought, it was time to throw in the towel.
And I immediately replied to tell her DON’T QUIT!
It’s so easy to look around and see what feels like everyone on Twitter announcing that they’re signing with an agent. Or announcing a six-figure book deal. Or having a manuscript requested.
But listen, those people have their own journey. Maybe that woman who just announced her new agent has been querying for ten years. Or maybe she’s only sent one query. Unless she tells you, or you’re in her critique group, you have no idea. You just can’t compare yourself to someone else’s process, because you don’t know.
I do know one thing. No one who quit ever published a book. There, I said it.
A couple of years ago, I polled agented authors about how many queries it took them to get an agent. The results were surprising–we’re talking hundreds. Years. Multiple manuscripts. The thing you have to keep in mind (and it’s hard, I know, to not feel that pang of jealousy) is that you have no idea what someone else’s journey is like.
Here’s the post with those results. It’s not meant to be depressing, only honest.
How Many Queries Does It Take to Get an Agent?
I’ll say it again, no one who gave up Ever. Published. Anything.
Persevere. Keep writing. Keep querying. Keep connecting through your writing community. Keep learning, growing, submitting.
I’ll be honest. It’s been particularly difficult for me to keep looking forward in light of the negative turn taken by our current political climate. But that’s why it’s MORE important to persevere. We need to be the light for children. We need to keep writing, keeping putting out more stories that reflect the light in the world, as well as the dark.
As Dory would say, “just keep swimming.”