A week ago, I blogged about how much writers dislike writing query letters. Perhaps that blog cleared some of the clutter from my mind, because I was able to later rewrite my query letter into something that I thought (hoped) wasn’t too terribly shabby.
I tweaked that letter a few more times during the week, with the assistance of some writer friends. (In my opinion, being willing to not just accept but ask for feedback from others is one of a writer’s greatest assets. And believe me, I have used that asset a lot lately.) The result is a letter with a bit more verve and pizzazz than my old letter had. It might even be ready to use.
This caused a whole new batch of emotions. Before, I was almost dreading the act of sitting down and writing the letter. Now the letter is done, I am nervous about what will happen once I send it out. What if the letter isn’t as good as I hoped? What if the letter is fine, but no one wants to read my stories anyway?
Because it isn’t just about the letter. A query letter is a means to open doors for a story. When someone receives my query letter, they aren’t just judging the letter; I am inviting them to judge one of my historical romances. Writers often joke that our stories are like our “babies” because we have invested so much time and effort and emotion into them. So once that query letter door is opened, someone will give my story – my baby – a long look up and down, and will either invite it in for more consideration or will slam the door in its face.
The waiting for the slam can be nerve-wracking. I sent two query letters out into the big wide world yesterday. Don’t get me wrong; I met both agents at a conference recently and they both seem like lovely people. If they must close the door, I am sure they will do it as kindly as they can. And since it has only been one day, it is much too soon to wonder if they looked at my letter or my story yet. After all, this process can take weeks.
But I know that as time goes on, I’ll start to wonder more about the status of the queries I sent. Are they still sitting on the doorstep? Have they been invited in because someone likes my hero and heroine? Are they making their way home as rejections?
One cure for the waiting is to send out more queries. The more time I spend preparing other queries to send out, the less time I will have to worry about each individual one. So that is my plan for the coming weeks. I have a list of agents who could potentially be a good fit for me and my stories, and I will start sending query letters to the agents on this list. Sooner or later, one of them will open the door.
I will keep you posted on how my babies fare.
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.