Monday, December 6, 2010

November Update

Post by Jenny

Did you hear that whooshing sound? The sound of last month flying by? Yes, November is in the books, and it has been for days. Was it just me, or did it seem a week too short? And I wasn’t even participating in NaNoWriMo, with a word count breathing down the back of my neck.

If you participated in NaNo, my hat is off to you. It doesn’t matter to me if you wrote 5,000 words or 50,000. If you even gave it a try, you’re a braver soul than I. I hope the experience was a good one and made you a gutsier, more confident writer. (I enjoyed NCW member Linda Henk’s blog post about her NaNo experience.) And I hope the caffeine withdrawal won’t be too rough on your system.

You may recall that November was to be my month of queries. As promised, I did hop back up on that query horse, but it took me longer than I anticipated to get it moving. I began by polishing up my query letter, synopsis, and sample chapters. I don’t think they needed much polishing—maybe just a light dusting—and after a while I realized my “revisions” were nothing but a stall tactic. (Horse…stall…is there a theme here?)

I confess…I was afraid to actually send the queries out. (There’s a reason ‘query’ rhymes with ‘scary,’ you know.) The individual rejections don’t bother me too much. I know some writers have their gripes, but I’ve never once received a mean-spirited or unprofessional response from an agent. But when the “no thank yous” start piling up, the little voice in my head asks me what I’ll do if I never find an agent. Never. That’s an intimidating word to bump up against, one that makes me want to go back to bed and ponder my future career in the food service industry.

But the only cure is to query more, not less. There are a whole lot of agents out there, enough to keep the ‘never’ blues away for a while longer. (At my pace, quite a while longer.) My total for November was a dozen queries. Not quite the number I’d hoped for, but I’ll take it. So far, I have received 5 polite passes and one encouraging nibble.

And as for that turkey I was reading in November…it was like the last bite of my Thanksgiving meal: I just couldn’t force myself to finish it.

Did you accomplish your November goals? What are your plans for December?


Patricia Stoltey said...

I hate to admit this, but not only did I not accomplish my November goal to write every day, I didn't even get started. I'd planned to start a new novel, but got totally caught up in promo events, classes, blogging, and on and on.

I do have one lonely query in to the agent I pitched to at the Colorado Gold Conference. I'll give her another week before I start sending out more.

And I did get my first mystery file uploaded for Kindle so it will be available soon as an ebook.

And I do finally have a first chapter written for a new book. Finally.

That November goal to write every day, though? I've moved it to January. :)

Jenny said...

You may not have done what you set out to do, Pat, but you still kept busy. That's the most important thing.

I've set my sights on January now, as well.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

November went way too fast and now December is doing the same thing. I’m kind of resolved that my Nov/Dec goals are going to be postponed until after the holidays.

Good luck with your queries.

Jenny said...

December is flying already, isn't it, Jane? Every year, I think I'm not going to leave things until the last moment, but I still do.

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