I think I broke a record yesterday, four query rejections in one day! That’s gotta be some sort of record, right? The day before I set a record with three rejections and I thought that was something, but you know what? I’m not upset about it. I am honestly grateful. The speed in which queries are coming back is fast, and that is awesome! At least this way I know it is a “no thank you” and I can move on. After almost two years of querying different projects, I can honestly say I’ve developed some pretty thick skin at this point. I think one has to develop thick skin to do this, I mean this is only the query point. What happens when you make it all the way to publishing and the public doesn’t like the book? Thick skin is a must.
In the past week I’ve also done #PitMad- Twitter’s pitching competition where you pitch to agents via Twitter. I love #PitMad! I do it every time and will continue for the foreseeable future, until I land an agent. This past competition was a strange one though. It felt much bigger than in competitions past. I’ve always found moderate success when pitching, usually snagging a few “likes” from agents who I later pitch to. This time I got none. I’m not sore about it, I just found it odd. I talked to a few fellow authors who also thought that this past competition was a bit odd in feeling and activity. I also noticed for the first time ever that I kept getting “likes” from bogus accounts on my pitches. While this might not seem like a big deal to the average person, to authors who are glued to Twitter on PitMad, each like can be a potential agent. So when I saw a like, I was all excited in thinking it was an agent….. oh well! Fellow authors also encountered this phenomena this time around as well.
As a real glutton for punishment, I’ve also leaned into job hunting too. It feels like the right time to pick up the remnants of my career in marketing and PR. Job hunting has been a wild ride this go around, more so than querying! I was just telling my husband that my next book should be about my experience job hunting, entitled: A Year in Interviews: The Good, Bad, and Ugly. There really have been some ugly interviews, where I’ve walked away gobsmacked- and I am in PR! Obviously I won’t dish because I don’t want to shame, but man guy’s its been wild. It feels like working through Covid had stripped away a layer of professionalism that was always there.
I am also much more cautious when job hunting this time. I don’t just want any job, I want the right job. In one of my more recent professional experiences I encountered some pretty harsh gaslighting by a superior. I didn’t know what it was at the time, I’d been very lucky to that point and had always been well respected in all of my previous roles. That experience left me wiser in so many ways. So my strategy this time is to apply to companies that have a good track record with their current and former employees.
While I’ve been moving forward with querying directly to agents, and continuing to look for work, I will say my daily writing is not as productive as it could be. Right now, I am giving myself a pass, and really practicing self-care. If I need to step away for a bit, that is okay. I am reading a lot right now. I just got the new Christine Feehan book over the weekend, Lightning Game. I am reading it slowly, trying to devour and savor each word. Reviews for this book said it was one of her best thus far. I’ve read the whole series and I have not been a big fan of some of the books in the series, but I am hopefully for this newest one. I am sure I’ll write a review of it when finished.
I’ve also dove into other projects away from my computer. Over the course of the pandemic I improved on my quilting skills. I made a pandemic quilt, I call it, with over 300 tiny squares! The project took forever but I loved doing it. So, I finally took the plunge and set up a sewing spot for myself in my basement. I am so excited to dig in and work there. I also learned over the lockdown last spring, that sewing is great for writer’s block! It was fun to create a space of my own and I can’t wait to get to work down there on a new project.
All in all, that has pretty much been my week. To some it may look like a rough one, but I choose to look at the positives. I know that this is a time of growth and recovery and I embrace the journey, even if my natural impatience doesn’t appreciate it.