Writers not only spend a lot of time writing, they spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting to get a response to a query letter (usually an e-mail) sent to an agent. Waiting to receive feedback from an agent on any “partials,” usually 50 or so pages of a manuscript, that might have been requested. Waiting for an agent to say “yes” (or, truthfully, more often “no”) after having read an entire manuscript–a difficult stage to get to, by the way.
Then, assuming a writer ever get that coveted “yes” response, waiting and waiting and waiting for their white knight, their agent, to find a publisher. As I’ve said in other blogs, getting published is a tough, competitive business. Agents are so overwhelmed by query letters–some get hundreds a week–a writer may never get a response.
I experienced the extremes in response times a couple of weeks ago. I received one response, requesting a partial, to a query letter I’d sent out last July about my novel EYEWALL. Nine months ago. I’d long since given up on the agency. Well, I’m not complaining, just marveling.
The following day, I received a response to my first query e-mail for INSIDE THE WEATHER CHANNEL. Blowback time: One minute. Sixty seconds. “Send first 50 pages.”
So now I’m waiting. Again. But boy, wouldn’t it be great to get a couple of positive responses?
Oh, and I’m also waiting to hear from my screenwriter friend in California who’s doing a film script based on my unpublished novel THE OLDUVAI CONSPIRACY. He verbally pitched (kind of like an oral query) a production company last month. “Send us the script when you’re finished,” the company rep said. I assume my friend is scrambling to finish his work now, if he hasn’t already.
Thus, I try to fill my head with good thoughts while I wait. Realistically, it’s unlikely I’ll get a base hit with all three projects. But I’d be happy with a .333 batting average.
Even that would be a weight off my shoulders.
Photo: Me with a thousand-yard stare… waiting for something to happen.