Lately I've observed that quite a few of my fellow writers have taken that brave, brave step we all hope to make someday: querying literary agents. Yikes. I have yet to tackle it myself, but I've heard that the whole process is one big, ugly, scary beast, no matter how many times you face it. Even the jargon is intimidating; queries, partials, fulls, exclusives, contracts... Ugh! I can see why so many people opt for the self-publication route. Sometimes I feel like it would be easier to take my manuscript to the nearest Kinko's and hand out copies of it outside Barnes and Noble.
But no. I, like many of you, have chosen to take the road less traveled by. The traditional route, with all its wrinkles and hangups and inefficiencies. Say what you will about traditional publishing--it's still the best thing we've got, at least for the time being (although if Nathan Bransford's post today is any indication, that may change sooner rather than later).
As I read about each writer's querying experience, they all touched in some way on the agony of waiting, which was often compounded by the sting of rejection whenever it came. All of them also had different ways of coping while they waited. Debra "kept on truckin'" with other writing projects, while Michelle made light of the situation with hand drawn pictures and a fun discussion with her blog followers. When things didn't go in his favor, Jon kept his perspective by looking at the bigger picture.
Personally, I found all of their stories inspiring in different ways. They made me think about how I'll handle the inevitable waiting that happens during every part of the publication process. I hope when my time comes, I'll have the patience and grace to cope with it as well as these writers do.
What about you? Are you playing the waiting game right now? How are you coping? How do you plan to cope when it's your turn?