Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog


Hey all! New month means a new blog chain tour with the sisterhood members! This month, I ask:

If you’re querying now, or have in the past, how do you develop patience to wait for responses?

This is near and dear to my heart as a lot of you know because I am in the midst of querying my YA dystopian.

O.M.G.

Gotta say, I generally start querying with positive thoughts and all intentions of being patient. Key word: start.

After a couple weeks (generally after the rejects start rolling in), I get antsy. Does my query suck? Does my writing suck (even after ALL the work I put in??? Gasp!)? Is my story boring, unmarketable, too late to be on the “cutting edge?” Blurgh.

The anstyness eats up my patience like the Langoliers ate the alterna-world that Stephen King dreamed up.

Then I’m left with the feeling of: Oh my HECK, I try SO hard, and STILL spin my wheels. This time is NO different than last time. I SUCK.

Nice and positive, right? Pffft.

I confess this because I know I’m not the only one whose felt this way. I also know it’s part and parcel of the game. I also know I need to overcome it (or at least not let myself wallow too much in it when the thoughts inevitably arise).

Now, I recently heard of some dear writer friends who have hit a BIG speedbump in their writing careers. I will let them explain what happened because it’s not my place to speak for them, but let me say, I felt for them. Like FELT for them. Plus, the news rocked my world. And not in a good way.

Seriously, with the numbers so against writers, where’s the hope? And if you’ve still got hope, is it a means of deluding yourself?

At the risk of derailing myself…

I had put this question out there to Twitter (paraphrased):

Is there still hope for me?

I doubted it. But the response I got was quite the opposite. People told me to keep going. Don’t give up. Yeah, there’s strife and angst, but it’s part of the journey, the potential highs outweigh the negatives. HOPE. EXISTS.

I put this aside out there because not only do I struggle with patiently waiting for agents to respond to my queries, I also struggle with patiently waiting for the angst to resolve. It’s during those times when my worries take over that I consider quitting. It’s during those times that I’m at the most risk of losing hope.

Low patience=High urges to quit

High patience=balance + hope

OK, to get to my point, how do I feed my patience pool?

  • Eat chocolate
  • Talk to my writerly friends
  • Flail and get out the angst quickly and then just as quickly move on to a new project
  • Refuel my brain with reading
  • Remember how excited I feel about working on projects
  • Remember I write to write. It’s a part of who I am and it’s going to stay, whether or not I get an agent or get published
  • Remember that even when I want to quit, I don’t *really* want to quit. Uh, if that makes sense
  • Remember that the successful writers are the ones who persevered and never gave up

Alrighty, for those of you who powered through this rambly, longish post, tell me what you do to keep your patience during querying.

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12 comments on “Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog

  1. EArroyo says:

    I remember why I started writing in the first place and it wasn’t to get published. I love what I do. I love finding that spark in a new idea that slowly becomes a story with people, faces, emotions, places and a smile breaks my face and so I trek those mountains. Hey, nowadays if you want to get published all you have to do is hit that upload button. But it’s not about that. It’s about something bigger. And Laura, you are talented because you have touched so many people’s lives. That’s what it’s all about. Good luck!

  2. Ciara Knight says:

    Don’t throw anything at me. Promise? I don’t think about it. I work on the next project. I work my tail off so I don’t think about what is out there. 🙂 Yes, there are bumps in the road, like losing two agents in one year, but I digress. Anyway, we just keep plugging along. I know you are going to rock some agent/publishers world and they are going to beg you for that manuscript or you are going to sell it on auction. You go girl!

  3. Great post. All I can say is keep your hope and keep trying. Yes it’s painful and hard but as you say you love to write and that has to keep you going. Chocolate is also a great idea and maybe a cocktail 🙂 The last bit is so true almost all writers struggled to get their first book out there, if they coudl do it in the end there’s no reason why you can’t!

  4. Oh yes! You put it better than I ever could. This will be a hard act to follow! 🙂

  5. Lynn Rush says:

    Great post.
    There is always hope. Always. Of course, I believe that so much I had it tattooed on my arm… 🙂

    Now that I’m back in the querying stage since I no longer have my agent, I’m right there with you. When I send off a query, I just file it away and keep writing. It keeps my mind off the waiting. It really does.

    Hang in there. We are all in this together!

  6. roguemutt says:

    Doing other stuff is usually a good idea. The less you think about it the better.

  7. Sarah says:

    I have to answer this in a few weeks, so I’ll just say: hang in there, Laura. OF COURSE there’s hope.

  8. Trisha says:

    I’ve only had one experience with having to wait and wait on an agent’s response – and what I did while waiting was work on other projects I loved.

  9. Cinette says:

    I’m not worried; I believe in you, Laura!

  10. akossket says:

    You can do it Laura. You will survive your query angst.
    When I was in query land a while back, well… I played a lot of video games. Gaming might not be your thing so find something you love to do and dive into it.

  11. Vicki Tremper says:

    I do feel that querying now is harder than in the past. I feed my patience about the same way you do. Sometimes there are highs to get you through the lows, but really you just have to keep plugging away and try not to think about it too much – which is way easier said than done. I absolutely know that from experience. Good luck and keep writing that new wip!

  12. […] of the Traveling Blog round by sharing her strategies for maintaining patience while querying. Here’s my post from last week, in case you missed […]

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