I Don’t Wanna! You Can’t Make Me! (Why I’m taking a vacation from Querying)

Querying sucks. There’s no way to sugar coat that. No one told me it would be this bad. Like my mom friends who refuse to tell me all the gory details of pregnancy out of fear that I’ll never do it, if someone told me how hard/disheartening/frustrating/buzz-killing querying would be, I’d never written my book.

I realized today that it’s been a month since I’ve sent out my last query letter. I have an excuse for two of those weeks – I was traveling. But for the other two? I stuck my head in the sand.

Every published writer has been there. Everyone has to put themselves out there and face the rejection that comes. I like to believe that the payoff will be worth it – that when I finally see my book on a bookstore shelf I’ll appreciate it so much more than if it happened effortlessly. But that doesn’t numb the pain.

I don’t think I’m purposefully putting my head in the sand. After all, no queries mean I’m not putting myself in front of agents. Trust me, they are NOT looking for me. I think it’s my subconscious, the part of my brain that would rather devote the little free time I have to writing than sending out query letter after query letter after query letter … you get the point. I’m not querying because I would rather use the right side of my brain.

I love to write. There is nothing more exhilarating than trying to make your fingers keep up with the movie in your head. You’re in the zone, the characters are moving, talking, hoping, jiving – they are alive. You find yourself playing with words, alliteration is your best friend, the words sound like music in your ear. When you finally allow yourself to take a break, you float from your chair. Writing – especially when you are in your fictive dream – is like a runner’s high. (I swear if someone were to do a study they would find that we produce a lot of serotonin when we’re in this state.)

That’s my take on writing. Querying? Blah, blah, blah. It’s a business transaction rather than a work of art. A rejection on your query is like your parachute failing to open. If you survive the fall, you are going to bounce twice … at least.

I shouldn’t be so down on querying. It’s a necessary evil. But, I feel the need to take a vacation. Maybe it’s because I realized – with the help of my awesome writer’s group the Greater Fort Worth Writer’s Workshop – that I have a trilogy in me. Or, maybe the sadly small left side of my brain is telling me to regroup, think about my query some more and take the summer off. Whatever it is, I just don’t have the energy to send out another query letter right now.

As the eternal optimist, while it’s been a month since I sent out a query, it’s also been a month since I’ve received a rejection. 🙂



About Kimberly Packard

Kimberly Packard is an award-winning author of women’s fiction. She began visiting her spot on the shelves at libraries and bookstores at a young age, gazing between the Os and the Qs. Kimberly received a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and has worked in public relations and communications for nearly 20 years. When she isn’t writing, she can be found rollerblading, doing a poor imitation of yoga or curled up with a book. She resides in North Texas with her husband Colby, Oliver the cat and a 75-pound lap dog named Charlie. Her debut novel, Phoenix, was awarded as Best General Fiction of 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors.
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7 Responses to I Don’t Wanna! You Can’t Make Me! (Why I’m taking a vacation from Querying)

  1. taureanw says:

    I haven’t been active in the Query scene in over a year…..it’s been a great year! Just think of it as a means to an end, or as some kind of punishment for something you did in the past :-p

    • LOL – I knew I should have been nicer to that guy at the junior high dance! 😉 You know, it seems the querying scene is kinda like the rapture. We’re all there, hoping to get taken up. (Sorry, cracking up at the FB messages on the impending rapture …)

  2. I’ll admit, I haven’t queried since early April. But I did decide to shove that WIP in a drawer and move on.
    But in my opinion, you have to be in the mood to query. You have to be motivated and determined. If you’re not motivated, it will show in the words of your query letter and hurt your chances.
    So I totally understand the feeling. But you’re doing the right thing. If you’re not querying, you HAVE to be writing. Never just sit on your rear and not do anything to improve your skills.

    • Exactly! I’ve learned that I can’t do more than five at a time. I powered through one weekend and did like fifteen, and really don’t remember querying half the ones I did. You do have to be in the mood, especially to research them and make sure everything is perfect. It’s a lot of work.

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