Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Query and the Muse

I’m happy to announce my muse is back at work.  He’s not interested in querying, thank goodness, since I’m only a quarter of the way through the first pass of this rewrite, but he’s wild to write new chapters, and a hard slogger in editing standing chapters.  And in my opinion, he has a great voice.

He’d better still be around when I start writing my query!

Speaking of queries, Laura - of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog - asked a hard question this month:
If you're querying now, or have in the past, how do you develop patience to wait for responses?

I’m not sure patience even enters the question for me.  Dread, terror, and occasional despair, maybe.  ;-)  But not patience.  I need to push querying out of my mind or I can’t carry on – or at least, not sensibly.

Like Lydia, I try to keep busy.  If my fiction won’t flow, I work on non-fiction.  Cleaning, on the other hand, is a desperation measure.  Lydia, you’re a stronger woman than I am!

One thing I believe writers need to learn in order to survive the query journey is compartmentalization.  (Sheesh, do think I could have found a longer word?)  But compartmenting helps me function.  If I dwell on something I can’t change, I only make myself miserable.

I already have a tendency to keep the different parts of my life separate.  Prioritizing can be a problem (it’s waaaaaaay too easy to go play on the web – I really need to read all those agent blogs!), but knowing the internet is a time suck actually helps because I go offline to work.  If I’m offline I can’t check my email every five minutes for agent responses.

So I schedule times to check my email.  I write, or edit, whenever I can.  And I spend a lot of time rubbing Churchill’s tummy – a guaranteed soothing activity.

How do you deal with waiting for agent responses?