Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Five Stages of Querying Grief

Stage One: Denial

This can't be happening to me! Flash is so good! I was supposed to get an agent within days of sending out that first query! There must be some sort of mistake--it's already been three weeks. Sure, everyone else has to go through a long, drawn-out querying process, but not me! There's going to be a request for a full in my inbox RIGHT NOW, I just know it.

Stage Two: Anger

What?!? [Insert Author Name Here] got an agent on her first try! And my book is at least as good as hers! And WHY won't anyone get back to me? Don't they understand I'm checking my email every twenty minutes? I HATE THIS! QUERYING IS THE WORST THING EVER! JUST READ MY FREAKING BOOK ALREADY!

Stage Three: Bargaining

Okay. It's okay. If I can just get a request for a full, if an agent will just read the whole thing, I'll be happy. No matter what, I'll be happy then.

No? A partial. Just read a partial, I swear then I'll be happy, I won't complain or freak out or want to give up. Just a partial?

No? Just respond. Anything. Just respond, and I'll be okay, really, I promise. Just a response? Please?

Stage Four: Depression

It's been three weeks. This is it. No one is going to want Flash. They'll never read it, so they'll never know how much fun it is, how well-written it is, how much potential I have as a writer. I'll never get an agent, which means I'll never get published, and there's nothing I can do about it. I suck. I suck, I suck, I suck I suck I suck. And the worst part is that I don't suck, but it doesn't matter, because no one will ever know. I'm never going to be an author. It's over. I'm going to bed. And I'm not getting up again.

Stage Five: Acceptance

Well, it is what it is. I know I'm talented, I know I'll be published someday. Maybe an agent will give Flash a chance. Maybe not. It's more luck than anything else at this point, and I can accept that. Either way, I'll keep writing, and someday, someone will represent me. I know Flash is good; everyone who read it loved it. That's enough for now.


Which stage am I in right now? Oh, depression. Very much depression.

Update: Can we have a stage for getting your hopes up again?


*Special thanks to Natalie for supplying Bargaining

18 comments:

Natalie said...

Ohhhh, I love this...or maybe hate. It's just funny for sure.

Just went through it. I think I'm at acceptance. It will be 30 days in for me tomorrow. Wee. Been at 12 yet to respondl for two weeks now. So. Awesome.

Whirlochre said...

'Get us out of here, Sulu'

'Ears, Captain.* Switching to Warp five...six...seven...eight...'

(Off camera, various howls of 'My ears are bleeding!' 'She's breaking up!' and 'Dammit, Jim, what the hell's the matter with you?')

'...nine......ten......eleven............twelve.........................................................Kiersten...'

Hey K — I'm sure they'll catch up soon.


* Sulu always says 'ears, Captain'. Listen to the re-runs.

Ashley said...

Hang in there Kiersty-poo! You are an excellent writer and Flash is awesome! Someone will realize that and make you famous one day.

Kiersten said...

Thanks Natalie and Ashley.

And Whirl, I've interpreted that to mean I'm at warp speed and everyone else just needs to catch up? So I'm going to take it as flattering and say thanks ; )

Anonymous said...

You nailed it. It's just like that for me, except that I've dropped the part (during acceptance) where I still insist I have talent.

I'm on about the same time-frame you are with Flash.

...dave conifer

freddie said...

Kiersten, don't worry. It's only been three weeks. An acceptance e-mail will come when you least expect it.

Kiersten said...

Let's hope, Freddie. Let's hope. I could use something good and hopeful right now.

Renee Collins said...

Don't give up Kiersten. Flash is awesome, an agent is bound to see that.

Of course, it's easy for me to say. I still have yet to brave the query scene. Getting close though. *gulp*

Kiersten said...

Oh, I'm not giving up. It's just such a frustrating process.

Robin S. said...

This is funny in that wry kind of way where you're smiling along and commisserating along and thinking oh, yeah, I just can't wait to dip my own toe into that cesspool of ethernet nothingness that is a lack of response.

Good for you for using the grief stages! You got guts, girl.

Natalie said...

Cesspool, lol. I love you, Robin.

Robin S. said...

Love you too, sweetie!

Kiersten said...

lol...Don't worry, Robin. I'm sure you'll get an agent on the first query, right?

Robin S. said...

Oh sure, Kiertsten. Absolutely!

nanette rayman rivera said...

Hi Kirsten,

just wanted to say I found your blog and I totally know what you mean. What genre is your book?

nanette

Kiersten said...

Hi Nanette! It's YA. Romance, action, and a little bit of sci-fi. Mostly just commercial YA though. Are you writing something right now, or querying?

MM said...

I too am in the query stage. I had a friend who complained because it took her 18 days to sign an agent. That's right 18 days from first email to signing on the dotted line. Of course she sold in no time.


I sent my queries out the first week in August. Got some instant nos, 1 request for partial, and I haven't heard from five others.

I'll start round 2 of queries mid sept.

I'm a YA girl.

Kiersten said...

Hi, MM. Yeah, it's a frustrating, sometimes heartbreaking process. And you hear those eighteen-day stories, and they drive you nuts and make you want to give up. And then you hear those four-hundred rejections before getting published stories...which are supposed to be inspirational, but mostly just make me really, really tired.

But hey--a partial! That's exciting. Good luck!