Wednesday, June 4, 2014

THE WAITING GAME ...

Hi, All,


Welcome to another segment of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. As most of us know Alex J. Cavanaugh founded the group a few years ago for writers to vent and support each other during the LONG process/journey to publication. Thank you, Alex.

I have been a member since day one and I know how wonderful this amazing group is in accomplishing what Alex has originally set out to do. It has grown into its own website and Facebook page. I bet Alex never new how successful this would be when he first created the group! So sign right up if you're feeling insecure or have some advice for other writers!

From my title you might have guessed my topic today is QUERYING! I know, I hear all the GROANS now...mine is right there with yours. 

As many of you know I have just finished the final edits on my second novel and have began the querying process. BUMMER. This is my least favorite thing to do as I am sure many of you agree. But it is a necessary part of our journey to publication. 

In the past I haven't been very successful in landing an agent. But this time I am hopeful. I have a terrific query letter, thanks to a fellow blogger/friend, Morgan Shamy, who helped me tweak it. I have had some requests from publishers in the past, so I know there is interest in my story. YAY! I'd also like to offer a HUGE THANKS to my CP's and Betas. You know who you are and if I could gather you all up and give you a great BIG BEAR HUG, I would!

Today I plan to send out another three of four letters. From previous advice from fellow writers, I've decided to send out a small group of letters and wait. Wait for the response, if any. This is by far the WORST. The "Waiting Game" grinds on my every nerve. What does one do while waiting? Read a book? Work on another project? Blog? Drink endless amounts of coffee? Eat chocolate? Hibernate? Pull out every single hair on your head? 

Well, although some of these my take up part of our day, the bottom line is, there really is nothing to do but WAIT. Sad, but true. However I do have a few tips that may help. First, do something for someone else. Take the focus off yourself and dive into CP or Beta project. That's what I'm doing and it really helps! Focusing on your partner's world is such a great escape. Not to mention you get so wrapped up in perfecting their story, there is very little time to think about what that agent or publisher is doing with your query.

Next. Get OUT OF THE HOUSE. Seriously, now that the weather, for the most part, is sunny and warm throughout most of the US and Canada, there is no excuse to be locked away in the house fretting over you queries. Commune with nature. Really study the chirping birds. Smell the blossoms, and look at each delicate petal. Go to your local dog park and watch the puppies at play. It is so much fun to see them all chase each other and have such a great time. 

And finally, exercise. Relieve the tension. Take a brisk walk. Go for a five or ten mile bike ride. Jog through the park, beach, or lakefront.  BREATHE. STETCH. Go home and you will be ready to face the dreaded empty inbox.  

As long as you keep you mind on other things, The "Waiting Game" won't tear you apart. Remember it is just a GAME. There will be winners and losers. Here's hoping we are all WINNERS!

Have a fantastic day today all and do visit your fellow IWSGers... Not a member? Sign up for next month's meeting!

60 comments:

  1. Do something for someone else - that is wise advice!
    Good luck, Michael. Just keeping sending out batches of those query letters.

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  2. Good for you, Michael. Love the attitude.

    As I read this, it reminded me of when my twins were little. They'd cry when I put them down for their nap, and I hated it. (I don't like letting my babies cry.) But I needed them to nap at the same time, and they needed the rest.

    I finally learned to distract myself and focus on a task. I knew it only took me 10 minutes to load the dishwasher.,15 tops, so I'd focus on that and tell myself that if they were still crying when I was done, I'd go to them. Most day's, they weren't. They were sound asleep before I even finished.

    Anyhow, I'm crossing my fingers that you'll have big news for us soon. :)
    IWSG #215 until Alex culls the list again.

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  3. What a great idea to do something for someone else while stuck waiting. Perfect.
    I know how hard this time is but I hope you will get great responses soon, Michael!

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  4. I started an exercise program this week, and already feel like a different person. I can't say querying is my favorite part either, but a necessary step. Best of luck to your query, sir! :)

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  5. Hi Michael,

    Such great advice! We don't have a dog park, or any park, in our little town, but I can visualize! Good luck with the query!!!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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  6. I have been getting out of the house! Mostly because my treadmill broke so I have to run outside now.

    Good luck with the queries.

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  7. I got up at usual 0 Dark Something, just so I could get out of the house today. IWSG is a great group and I'm pleased I joined. Good suggestions, Michael.

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  8. Hugs for Morgan!!! Best of luck Michael! And while you wait, you start writing something else.

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  9. Good luck with your querying! I find that working on a completely new project distracts me and eases the blow of rejections.
    But I love your idea of doing something for someone else.

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  10. Oh, Michael. Best of luck with querying. Your voice carries loads more confidence than in the past. Good for you! You've worked hard. Excited to hear about all the great things coming your way....

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  11. Querying certainly is a pain. I've been querying for my series for a long time, constantly changing my query to make it better, with no success.

    I wish you the best of luck with your querying process. I know you'll see success with it. :)

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  12. Congrats on reaching the stage of querying. And I'm loving the warmer weather and taking lots of walks.

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  13. It's just a game... that's a great way to look at it! And at least you can always have another go. :) Good luck, Michael, I think your time is coming!

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  14. Good luck with the query. I'm feeling hopeful for you. When I tried to get an agent, I always sent out five at a time and had the line up waiting to send should any rejections come in. LOL. They did come in.

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  15. Best wishes on querying. Waiting is always the hardest.

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  16. Love it! I would normally see people saying "write while you wait" and it's solid advice, but sometimes the anxiety can cause us to lose focus. Helping someone else as a beta is the perfect! We will concentrate because we know they're counting on us, and it provides the little mental break while we wait. Best of luck, Michael. Fingers crossed you hear great news soon. :)

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  17. Man, good LUCK to you! I find querying TOTALLY draining. I can't write. I can barely edit. What a stressful mess. But I wish you the very best with it! Hopefully you will land someone fabulous!

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  18. I haven't got to this stage yet, but I know I'm going to hate it when it eventually comes. Great advice to get through it :)

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  19. The waiting game is terrible. I think starting a new project helps keep the mind off of it.
    http://lucindawhitney.com/

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  20. I too hate the waiting game, and so I just don't do it anymore. What I'm waiting for right now is for my character to talk to me, tell me what makes him tick, why he's obsessive about his obsession and where does he want to go. I feel so out of touch especially since all but this part of the novel is DONE! Arg. I don't know why he isn't coming in and I want to cry. So afraid this book is a wasted effort... sigh.

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  21. The waiting never seems to get any easier does it! Every stage of the process involves waiting but I agree distraction is a great way to deal with it.

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  22. If you figure out the secret to landing a good agent, please share! I've queried way more than I like to think about, and it was not a fun experience. You are totally right about not becoming a selfish hermit while you move through the process!

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  23. The waiting game is a killer. Wishing you luck.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  24. Aren't you glad you didn't query this winter???? Oh man. That would have been brutal. Along with the weather, you would have been stuck indoors or outdoors in the terrible weather. Nice to know that things can be pleasant while we wait and wait and wait some more. Hang in there. Hugs, my friend.

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  25. Waiting is awful. But you are doing all the right things, and I especially agree on sending out only a few queries at a time. That way, you can tweak your query or your manuscript as you go.

    I found waiting on submission to be even worse. If querying is purgatory, submission is hell. Because you can no longer tweak ANYTHING.

    But waiting is something every writer has to endure, so it's best to find ways to deal with it now!

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  26. Good luck with the querying, Michael!
    Fingers crossed... XX
    The right agent is out there somewhere... just waiting...

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  27. The best of luck to you! I think diving into another project helps the time pass.

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  28. Hey Michael,

    The waiting game is over in regards to your wait if over in regards to one of my highly collectable comments. Actually, positive distractions completely away from writing do wonder to the heart and soul. And thus, the writing dances and the future will be awesome for you. Penny the Jack Russell dog and acclaimed query dog, has told me so.

    Thank you for being part of the "I Was Seeking Gary" dedication posting. I'm crying tears of joy.

    Gary :)

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  29. I need to find some distractions. Exercise and a new project. That's on the agenda for June.

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  30. Good advice for almost any project.

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  31. I always found it was best to send out the queries and immediately start on my next project. That helped take my mind off things during the wait!

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  32. Excellent advice, MIchael. Only thing I'd add: Zoom up a green smoothie - great for de-stressing and giving you hopeful energy. Ha ha. Your wait will pay off. I've yet to write a query letter, but have done a couple of synopses.

    Glad your weather's warmer. Ours is simply delish. Not many times of the year we can't get out and enjoy the rays.

    Denise

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  33. Doing something for someone else takes you out of yourself. Try to forget that you sent the query. I used to try and fade Christmas away so that when it did come, I was surprised at how fast it came. :-)

    I wish you the best of success, Michael!!

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  34. I once heard a quote 'if you're feeling sorry for yourself it's because your thinking of yourself.' So true! and it also works for the waiting/worrying game. I love your idea to get over it by helping others and forgetting yourself. Thanks for the reminder!

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  35. The waiting sucks. But publishing is just that--one big waiting game. It'll be all worth the wait in the end though!

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  36. Excellent advice, Michael. Querying is the worst, mostly because there's no guarantee a response will ever be forthcoming, so waiting is a fool's game. I never had any luck querying. I came to my agent via a referral, and not a day goes by when I'm not thankful.

    Wishing you much success on your quest!

    VR Barkowski

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  37. Michael, the waiting game sucks. Being in the query trenches is hard on any writer's nerves. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Hope you hear good news soon. You are doing all the right things to keep yourself busy and distracted from worrying about the queries.

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  38. Great advice! I think the best thing you can do is keep busy.

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  39. Excellent attitude! They do say time flies when you're having fun.

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  40. Hiii! Hugs for the empty inbox! Waiting IS hard. Great ideas here to counteract that. What I do is I read between writing novels, as well as critique others' stuff like you are, and catch up on household and yard projects I neglected while focusing on my manuscripts. :)

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  41. Hugs! Love your advice for the waiting game - get busy, get outside, help a friend, and even dive into the next project. Hope you get a positive response!!!

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  42. My personal vote is for eating chocolate, but you're right--getting out of the house and exercising is always a good thing.
    Best wishes for your querying process.

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  43. Good luck in your querying, Michael! I am not in the game but funny enough, I'm doing all those things you are recommending. They are all good to keep your mind busy and away of deep concerns for a while.

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  44. I do things to distract myself while waiting on a response for a query also. The waiting is the hard part, but man is a query hard to write. I'm so happy to see you surfing around the net Michael. And it is sunny, and I know how happy that makes you :)

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  45. That's one thing I'm glad for now that I've decided to self publish. I absolutely despised waiting for a reply on my query letters.

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  46. A year ago, I was in the waiting game, and I did my very best to ignore it! Just went on with life, went on with writing, and that seemed to work...as by the time I decided to put the "waiting" project aside, (one full read and copious rejections later), I had another first draft written. Put it out of your mind and go on. Wishing you all good things.

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  47. I scanned through the comments and we all hate to wait. It's human nature. I'll be camping this weekend, no computers! And cleansing my mind of the querying doldrums. Stay positive and stay busy!

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  48. I vote for drinking endless amounts of coffee and eating chocolate!! Seriously, though, I think doing something for someone else is a wonderful way to wait...for anything! When we take the focus off ourselves and what we're working towards or struggling with, and help with someone else's burdens, it makes our own seem much less "weighty".
    Happy Weekend,
    Jen

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  49. Hey Michael!! So sorry I haven't been by sooner. Massive good luck on the querying and don't let it get you down. There's always a way to publication.
    And coolness about Hyde Park! Hope you get it!! Can't wait to hear more about it!

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  50. I love the wisdom you shared and all the tips! CHIRPING BIRDS-lol!!! Yes, chocolate and exercise sound fab to me!
    I promise I won't eat chocolate on my walk, as I chase birds and write poems in my head. Lately, I am sighted chasing furry baby bunnies-so cute~ Good Luck...I think you will succeed this time-how sweet is Morgan! Happy weekend to you~

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  51. Get advice. I just got back from a long need break. I went to the local rose garden to read for a while in the nice warm sun.

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  52. Dearest Michael, I look at it a bit differently. Querying is an exciting time. You have made your manuscript the best you can make it and now it is time to find it the perfect agent or publishing house. I look at rejections as a weed out process. When I get a rejection, it means that person is not right for me and therefore I don't want them. See the difference? (hugs and crossing everything for you)

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  53. Michael, I love your new photo. The cast sunlight is cheerful and promotes your suggestion of getting out of the house!

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  54. Best of luck with your latest round of queries. Great advice for keeping yourself busy while waiting! Please do let us know how it goes!
    Rooting for you as always.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

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  55. The waiting game is not fun. That's why I try to distract myself by staying busy with my next project.

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  56. Hi Michael .. so true - and the weather is delightfully warm and sunny .. I'm off to check out our cracking chalky coastline! And taking a friend whose been ill home - we'll stop on the way for a coastal walk ..

    I sure hope and feel sure you'll get your acceptance letter through sometime soon - but it's way better to be busy and keeping working with ideas and other projects ...

    Cheers - as you have lots going on .. it will pull together .. Hilary

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  57. The story is AMAZING, Michael. Absolutely amazing. (And so is the query!!!!!!)

    Gosh, this business is hard. Waiting is hard. Keeping faith in ourselves and our work *while* we're waiting is HARD… But you are one of the strong, Michael. You've got big things ahead. I have no doubt!

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  58. Hope things went well with your querying. I know how hard it is to deal with rejection (just had an application for a job I was really hoping to interview for just ignored). Keep at it!

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