Author Topic: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)  (Read 8947 times)

Offline AlythiaB

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I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« on: May 11, 2015, 04:49:30 PM »
Hey guys,

So I thought querying would get easier with each book, but now I'm thinking the opposite. In the beginning, I expected/accepted rejection. I still do. But, as I'm now querying agents with my fourth book, a little voice is whispering negative things in my ear. 'You should've already landed an agent by now. You must not be that good...' Etc, etc

I hate to sit around whining about this process, but HOLY COW time is not making it better! I have some partials and a full out for my current project, but I also have this scary conspiracy theory that these agents won't ever get back to me. I've heard oh so many crickets and they're driving me INSANE! Is it just me or are agents who usually respond going CNR this season? It's almost time to close out on some I thought I would've gotten an answer from. Tell me I'm not alone!
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munley

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2015, 05:40:50 PM »
Waiting, especially when there is no apparent method or even slight predictability to when anybody might respond, can be really hard.

Since there is no way to influence the people keeping you waiting, distraction might help.
For me, it has to be focusing on something I have been really wanting to take up if I had a little extra time. It can be something completely unrelated to whatever I'm waiting for.

For example, sketching in spurts of 20 - 30 minutes is new for me. I'm amazed at details (textures, shapes, shadows) I never noticed much before trying to draw an object. I have no training, so I'm surprised by what I've managed to capture with a pencil. Not a bad picture of the sneaker on my foot.

I have noticed that this level of focus on an art object gives me a much-needed respite from troubles really eating at me.

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2015, 06:33:35 PM »
So true, Munley! It works. For a while. I just think I'm relapsing. Lol

 I took up macramé for a bit, caught up on some household projects, ran all over with field trips and volunteering at my kids school. But I still cringe when I 'happen' to refresh my inbox and the only thing waiting for me after all that calculated distraction is a Google calendar reminder to close out old queries. :/

But!! On the bright side, everyone I know now owns a hanging plant holder. So there's that. Haha! I'm being a Debbie Downer. Never mind me :) Sketching. Now there's an idea! Maybe I'll join you.
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Offline KimE

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2015, 06:40:29 PM »
You are most definitely not alone- waiting sucks! Treat yourself to a massage. At leat you'll feel more relaxed while you wait
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Offline Missus Braidyhead

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 08:05:50 PM »
All I can say is hang in there! We've all been there. And don't let those voices in your head make you feel bad for whatever number of manuscripts you're on. I think one of the worst things for me to do is compare my journey to publication to other writers'...of course, just because I know that hurts me, doesn't mean I'm so great at not doing it....which is horribly-worded, but I hope you get the idea.

Offline InvisibleInk

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2015, 08:34:09 PM »
I can relate to this so very much. I sent out five queries starting in February, and I've heard back from two. And they're my first for this project so I don't want to send out more until I know it's really working. So, I'm waiting, and waiting some more, and everyone seems to be skipping me so now I'm paranoid something in my email is getting caught in spam and I'm just wasting days and weeks and months waiting for responses I'm never going to get! Who invented this system anyway???   ;D

I'm writing and CP'ing and that helps -- makes me feel like I'm at least moving forward with the writing even if I'm not any closer to the agent side of things. So, no advice, just commiseration.

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2015, 09:42:33 PM »
Thanks, everyone!

@Missus B - YES. I totally compare myself to other writers! Especially when your dream agent signs on a new client and the interview goes something like this: Q: 'How long have you been working on this project?' A: 'Oh, I started in January and signed with Dream Agent Who Seems Impossible to Land in July.' *drinks wine* Q: 'How long have you been writing?' A: 'I think about two years.' *kills off a bottle*

@Flagirl, what a FANTASTIC idea!

@InvisibleInk - Honestly, it feels good just to know you guys understand!!!
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Offline AlythiaB

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2015, 09:44:34 PM »
@Flagirl - your pup looks just like my neighbor's dog! Happy little face and everything. Is she a pit?

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Offline boxofredpens

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 10:15:13 PM »
I'm totally there with you, AlythiaB!! Though I have to admit my anticipation has waned over the last few weeks. I still have some requests out, but after the rejections I've gotten (some stinging and/or overly depressing), I'm left with the sobering thought that this ms (in its current form) is a lost cause. And that deadpan thought sometimes feels worse than the jittery nausea I used to feel when I refreshed my inbox (though of course hindsight is 20/20).

So what do we do? Where do we go from here? For me, I'm trying to get some distance from the whole publishing world (which, honestly, might be horrible advice!  :)). I'm not checking agents' comments on Twitter anymore (actually avoiding the site altogether). I'm not reading all the hot new books everyone else thinks I should be reading in order to understand What Agents Want. I no longer toast agent names before a glass of wine or include them in the Sunday family dinner prayer (that was a thing for awhile). I'm just not obsessing over agents and their thoughts as much as I used to. I wish I'd thought of them less while I was working on my novel. Maybe it would have turned out better.

Here's what I'm doing: rereading the Harry Potter series. Rediscovering old stories I wrote growing up, and getting back to the heart of why in the world I'm doing this. Because somewhere along the way, I lost this piece. And this whole process has given me room to breathe, and think, and hopefully get geared up for another revision. And it feels less like waiting, and more like beginning again (and yes, I am a little cheesy!!)

Offline AlythiaB

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2015, 12:32:48 AM »
I'm totally there with you, AlythiaB!! Though I have to admit my anticipation has waned over the last few weeks. I still have some requests out, but after the rejections I've gotten (some stinging and/or overly depressing), I'm left with the sobering thought that this ms (in its current form) is a lost cause. And that deadpan thought sometimes feels worse than the jittery nausea I used to feel when I refreshed my inbox (though of course hindsight is 20/20).

So what do we do? Where do we go from here? For me, I'm trying to get some distance from the whole publishing world (which, honestly, might be horrible advice!  :)). I'm not checking agents' comments on Twitter anymore (actually avoiding the site altogether). I'm not reading all the hot new books everyone else thinks I should be reading in order to understand What Agents Want. I no longer toast agent names before a glass of wine or include them in the Sunday family dinner prayer (that was a thing for awhile). I'm just not obsessing over agents and their thoughts as much as I used to. I wish I'd thought of them less while I was working on my novel. Maybe it would have turned out better.

Here's what I'm doing: rereading the Harry Potter series. Rediscovering old stories I wrote growing up, and getting back to the heart of why in the world I'm doing this. Because somewhere along the way, I lost this piece. And this whole process has given me room to breathe, and think, and hopefully get geared up for another revision. And it feels less like waiting, and more like beginning again (and yes, I am a little cheesy!!)

Love the cheese!!!!

I feel like I went through this with my last book--that sinking point where you realize it's probably not going to happen. I really believe in this one, though. It just feels different. I guess that's why it's so scary, too, because if I can't land an agent with a project that makes me feel this way, I'm not sure which way to go. And actually, your advice to take a step back from all things publishing rings true. You step into it all eager to learn every single thing you can and sometimes forget to make more organic connections on places like twitter.

Things I've learned (and continue to learn):

-'Dream Agents' are not unicorns. Getting fixated on catching that ONE in particular is not worth the energy spent. You never know if they'll be YOUR Dream Agent until contracts are signed.
-There is a difference between researching and obsessing.
-My path doesn't need to look like anyone else's and it doesn't need to be the shortest.

I think I'm going to go on some hikes with my journal and maybe draw a picture of a cat. Or squirrel. Whichever crosses my path first. Cheers to all my writer pals on QT!
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munley

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2015, 03:30:01 AM »
So true, Munley! It works. For a while. I just think I'm relapsing. Lol

 I took up macramé for a bit, caught up on some household projects, ran all over with field trips and volunteering at my kids school. But I still cringe when I 'happen' to refresh my inbox and the only thing waiting for me after all that calculated distraction is a Google calendar reminder to close out old queries. :/

But!! On the bright side, everyone I know now owns a hanging plant holder. So there's that. Haha! I'm being a Debbie Downer. Never mind me :) Sketching. Now there's an idea! Maybe I'll join you.

Alas, as you say, a fine distraction won't prevent feeling disappointed at the next unfavorable sight of your inbox.

You can always try sketching one of your plant holders to get lifted back up.  I imagine it would take a lot of focus to reproduce on paper all of that fascinating contour and texture, even sketching one small segment of the macrame.   

Offline query333

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2015, 07:24:38 AM »
From reading posts, a lot of us here are going crazy. A popular suggestion has been to work on something new. However, for me, I've lost all motivation to do so. I've spent so much time (over 2 years) working on this one project that it's tough to let it go and put energy into something else. Instead, I'm trying to read more of everything--blogs, this website and make my way through novels on my reading list. I'm also working on all those home projects I put off when I chose to spend every extra minute on editing. I can't say its completely worked but my anxiety is gone. Instead, I'm giving myself time to evaluate this process. You don't need an agent to write and rejections don't mean you have to stop writing. So, at the end of the road, you will either have an agent or keep writing. And if you have an agent, you will keep writing. So, I suppose when you're ready, keep writing!

Offline KimE

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2015, 07:49:18 AM »
@Flagirl - your pup looks just like my neighbor's dog! Happy little face and everything. Is she a pit?



Buster the wonder dog was a pound puppy. They assured us he probably wouldn't grow to over 60 lbs--- he's now 100 lbs of joy. I did the cheek swab thing you can order on line for dogs and sent it off and the DNA report said he is part Siberian husky (he does like to dig and he is very stubborn so that fits) and unknown everything else
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Offline Dragon

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2015, 08:08:21 AM »
There was a book on selling many years ago called Getting to Yes. Having been in capital equipment sales for many years I can say it had both good and bad points. The most important point it made is that every no is one more step to a yes and that there will be many more no's than yes's in the sales process. The important piece to this was to celebrate the no's as you one step closer to a yes with each one.

There was also a series of articles by Noah Lukeman about getting an agent and getting published that absolutely calls for querying as many agents as possible and not waiting around for just a few to reply. His point is that it is a numbers game and a study in serendipity (my description not his) on what agent might be in what mood at the time they get your particular query. Of course this assumes that your work is well written, well edited, and does not break every other convention in the book as well.

Lastly one should never pigeon hole themselves into just one thing. That is a recipe for failure and disappointment. This is not to say that working very hard to perfect your particular passion is a bad idea but one should allow themselves to explore different facets of who they are and can be. I suspect, but can not prove, that this would also help a writer have a broad enough perspective to create a fully real world within their work. Harry Potter is not just about a boy wizard but also about the British educational system, family, the nature of prejudice, caste societies and teen angst among many others.

Breathe.  We all forget to periodically.  That is when it is most important to step back and look in another direction.

Offline TerryRodgers

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Re: I think I'm going crazy!!! (For real this time.)
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2015, 09:59:22 AM »
I'll be starting the query process with my fourth novel this summer. I'm right there with you. I'm very frustrated.

What has been really frustrating to me is the extreme luck of having quite a few author friends that have read my novels and provided feedback. The frustrating part is all of them have no idea why I haven't found an agent. Then I sign up for Pitchwars last year and two of the mentors that asked for the fulls sent me emails stating they had read the entire novel and felt they couldn't offer anything to improve the novel and that I should easily find an agent. WTF!!!

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