It's a week after "The Email," and I am doing much better, thank you for asking. (Read last week's post if you want the full story.) I'm still picking up the pieces, but my mood is improved and I am moving on. I have queried 4 agents and 1 publisher with The Shifting, so we'll see what happens with that. I am officially back on the market.
Writers like analogies because, well, we're writers and analogies to us are like gold thread to an embroiderer or wildflowers to a gardener: they add spice to the work. One analogy I've heard about sending work out is that it is like dating, falling in love, and marrying. Big, scary analogy, I know. But it fits.
Querying publishers and agents is a lot like the first stage of dating. You contact multiple people at once with a brief introduction and a plea for attention. You ask these people to spend some time on you. And most of them say no. Now, that may mean that they think you are bad and creepy and not worth their time, but much more likely it means that they already have someone who has what you're offering or they're not looking for what you have. Read through this. It applies to both querying and dating. And if you know you're good, remember that there are a hundred reasons you won't get tapped.
But then you do get tapped, and you start looking a little more closely. You present more of your work, and you start looking into the publisher/agent. Is this someone you can see yourself working with for an extended period of time? Maybe it doesn't work out, and there's a breakup. Maybe, though, it does. You edit. You work together, and you create beautiful books that you send into the world.
This analogy is really all I have to say this week. I'm "dating" again and I'll keep you posted on any developments. (Following this analogy, what happened to me and my publisher may be comparable to the first wedding scene in Jane Eyre, except that there wasn't a preexisting problem and no one wronged anyone.)