January 25, 2012 | By: Tracy

The 5 Stages of Querying

Let me just be clear about something here, querying is an addiction. Much like grief (they go hand-in-hand more often than not) there is a process un-agented writers must pass through in order to come out on the other side of querying, stronger than when they went in.  Understanding the stages may help to soften the transition, so here goes:

Stage 1: Excitement
Oh, I can't wait! My manuscript is so freaking unique and my characters are the most lovable, quirky fictional people in the history of fictional people! Every last agent is going to love it! The hardest part will be figuring out which agency to sign with!

Stage 2: OCD/Paranoia
Okay. Queries have been sent, it should only be a matter of time until the requests come rolling in. In fact, there could be one coming in now. I should probably refresh my inbox/iPhone at least one more time before I sign off. Seriously?!? Why haven't they responded yet? What if it got lost in spam? *refresh* How will I know that they didn't get it and they're not just ignoring me? *refresh*

Stage 3: Crushing Despair
I can't believe my query/manuscript was rejected! What was I thinking? Of course it sucks...I suck. All this time I've been fooling myself into thinking I could do this. Clearly I don't have what it takes. I was an idiot for wasting so much time trying to chase a pipe dream. My dog has more talent as a writer than I do.

Stage 4: Anger/Vengeance
You know what? NO! You, Agent X, obviously do not have your finger on the pulse of publishing in 2012. You're going to regret passing on me some day. And when I'm a NYT bestseller don't even think about asking me to blurb one of your author's new books. Okay? Okay. In fact, you're officially unfollowed on Twitter and dis-liked on Facebook. So there!

Stage 5: Acceptance/Determination
Okay, so what if my manuscript wasn't the right fit for Agent X. It happens. I mean, it's not like I like every book that makes its way to the shelves. But, I've worked too hard to give in so easily. There are still approximately 9,000 more agents I could query. If I'm going down it's gonna be in a blaze of glory!

So there you have it, folks. The 5 Stages of Querying.  The trick is to recognize which stage you're currently dealing with, look ahead to what's coming next, and always, always remember ... this too shall pass.

Care to share what stage you're in?

9 witty remarks:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

And this is why query buddies rock. Then you aren't stuck at the negative stages. They'll try to keep rooted in stage five. :D

Creepy Query Girl said...

You forgot to add the ups and downs of a request. Those definitely heighten the stakes and intensify the above reactions. LOL. Great post!

Jen Chandler said...

I love this post (especially Stage 4)! I'm currently in the "finish reworking the darn book so I CAN query" stage. In the past, however, I have been through every one of these steps. Hence the current stage I'm in :D

Happy Wednesday,

Meredith said...

Ha, this is so spot on, it's scary. But you're right--this too shall pass. :)

Patti said...

I teeter between 3 & 5.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm at stage 7: apathetic desensitization.

Saumya said...

Wow, you said these all too well.

alexia said...

I'm about to jump on the query train for my second book... so I'm at the "my book rocks so hard" stage :)

Kari Marie White said...

"My dog has more talent as a writer than I do."

Loved this whole post. Since I plan to be querying by June, I'll study up so I know what to expect. :)

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