Friday, May 29, 2009

Writers Who Need Writers, and Santa Claus Agents

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. I love my little group of supporters. To open up my blog, and have no comments, or - even worse - no visitors, would be a real downer.

As writers, or artists, we work alone, with no one looking over our shoulders and smiling, or saying something encouraging, and the aloneness of that could make for a very uninspiring day. But you guys make sure that never happens.

I know that we all lean on one another, relying on the feedback from our cheerleading squads. At times we are uncertain, hesitant about the work, believing that we are somewhat alien from the real world, that no one can really understand us, or the life we choose. (Correction: do we really choose it, or did it choose us? I think the latter.) We need to feel part of a whole, to be members of a welcoming and loving club. Well, blogs make all the difference. Without my followers, I probably would have experienced far more down time, misery time, if you like. Just when all is looking particularly dark, be it the work, or our lives, you're all out there keeping an eye on things, and watching out for one another.

Yesterday's blog drew a lot of interest, and I was once again moved by just how kind you all are. There have been many times when I've had tears in my eyes at your words over these past months. So today, again, I wanted to say thank you. How on earth did I manage before I started my blog?

I found this sentiment on line from Einstein, a uncharacteristically gooey one, to be sure, but it says what I'm feeling today.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

—Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965); theologian, philosopher, physician

Today I'm thinking of you all with deep gratitude.

My query stats for Orphan Hafan Deg as of this morning: 18 Pending, 2 Partials, 11 Rejections, for a total of 31.

One of my partials (which was snail-mailed) had been out there for a while, so I thought I should follow up on it. I read this particular agents' blog, and they hadn't mentioned being bogged down with queries, so I half-expected a rejection. The next day, there was their response, and I sighed (as usual) as I opened it. It politely told me that my MS was safe, and that I'd hear from them in about 30 days. My orphan is nice to hear that. I wish all agents would respond to our queries with "We have received your orphan, xxxx, and she is safe." Makes all the difference to how we feel at that terrible moment just before we press "send" yet again.

Of course, I've sent out new queries, because I replace the rejections each time, and one of these agents included the following words on his web site:

"XXXX Agents were formed in mid 2007 to help overcome some of the genuine frustration and feeling of helplessness felt by so many writers trying to get their book published - in particular their feeling that no one cares enough about their work to read it properly.

"It is our policy at XXXX to read and reply to all emails within 48 hours whenever possible. Of course it will take us longer to read your whole manuscript but in most case we will give you an answer within 2 to 3 weeks

(Re formatting) "....don’t worry too much about presentation or minor errors at this stage, they will make little difference to whether we like what you have sent us and we can fix it later."

Well, this is either Santa Claus working in his offtime, or the Good Queen Glinda's husband.

Why can't they all be like this?

Oh, and if anyone is interested in this agent's name, email me.


Jayden Vasara said...

i really enjoyed that quote....and good luck w/the querying process!! :)

Johanna said...

Okay, maybe you ARE ghost writing for me!

A bit ago I blogged about why can't rejection letters be kinder...blah blah...

I'm so down on the whole submission, wait, re-submit thing that I've been just sitting on mine for a month or so. But you've inspired me to get going again so thanks. I'm gonna go send my orphan out into oblivion again and re-cross my fingers!

Fran said...


You must do it like a daily exercise. Just sit down and do one (takes around an hour or so fiddling around right?). Next day, do another. Keep a nice spreadsheet. Mine spurs me on, but then I'm a nut for statistics.

sallyhanan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sallyhanan said...

Take heart! I was able to interview Maria Snyder 2 weeks ago, and she sent out 40 queries to agents without any takers. She then sent queries to 17 publishers and someone bit. One of her books eventually made it onto the NY Times List for 2 weeks.

Just sayin'. . . the rejection is no indicator of talent.

Belle said...

That is a great quote. It reflects so well the kind of support one can get from blogging. Your Santa Claus agent sounds great! My wish is to finally be able to complete something so I can get to this point in the process!

Fran said...

Sally - In an earlier blog I mentioned that even a hundred queries is a possibility. I'm quite prepared for it. It's the process that's difficult, like selling your soul. It's so nice to see you here!