Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why I removed my query from Write On Con and other random thoughts

I'm back again with another post. I know, shocking since I'm Ms. I-Blog-Every-Six-Months. Blogging is turning out to be more fun than I expected. Especially when I actually take the time to do it. 

Anyway, if you have any clue about the world of children's writing/publishing, you probably know that one of the best things in the whole wide world is going on right now. That's right, Write On Con. 

Don't know what it is, dear reader? Well, let me give a quick explanation as I clutch my pearls at the fact you don't know. (Seriously, you SHOULD know).

Four words: Free online writer's conference. 

Nuff said. 

Today is the first official day, and I happen to be home sick. No, I'm not faking it. Really, I'm sick. Sore throat, fever, shakes, coughing, sneezing. Awful. But the conference has helped me survive the day. I've already learned some amazing things from even more amazing people. I'm hoping to use it to network more since I tend to hide under a rock as I clutch my dear manuscript while telling myself, "They can't see my precious." Yes, I do a lot of clutching. 

Anyway, I posted my first 250 words, my first 5 pages, and my query letter. Got great critiques, though the folks at Write on Con tend to be nicer/softer than most places. However, yesterday I made what could be a life-changing decision:

I took my query letter down.

One of the perks of Write On Con is having "Ninja Agents," read your work and offer comments, critique, and maybe even request something. They're also more likely to read query letters than the first 250 words and first five pages. So, think about that for a second. I took down my query letter, the one thing that could've gotten me some kind of attention.

No, I'm not crazy. Well, I may be a little bit, but there's a reason for my madness: 

My manuscript isn't ready, and I'm not ready. 

I mentioned in all of my posts that my MS is a work in progress (WIP), and I could've very well left my query letter up and gotten some critiques/comments from agents. However, knowing myself the way I do, I felt I would be doing Stevie and the rest of my Blake gang an injustice. Even worse, I would be doing myself an injustice. 

You see, if by some crazy chance I got good feedback on my query from an agent, I would've hurried through my MS so I could query them, and guess what? My book would suffer. Had an agent told me this query needs work, etc., I would've focused on my query and therefore, my book would again suffer. 

Make sense? 

The biggest thing I'm learning in this process is patience. I have to take the time to get this right, and sometimes that means missing opportunities. I struggled with that decision to take my query down, but I feel better about it. My MS isn't done, and that's what I need to focus on. As my mom lovingly told me, "Girl, you're putting the damn cart before the damn horse!" Yes, that's exactly how she said it. 

So, instead of focusing on putting together a good query letter right now, I'm focusing on writing a good book.

Until next time.


  1. Your post on the BB brought me here, and I'm glad it did. I hope you chime into your blog (and the BB) more than every six months, because you articulate the writerly existential angst (how's that for a mouthful?)very well.