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Running the Numbers

I figured it might be of interest if I started documenting the numbers surrounding my hunt for representation. I keep all this in a spreadsheet, recording the agent’s name, their business, their email, and the date they were queried. It’s handy and helps me keep track of everything.

So without further ado, the numbers:

  • Total Agents Queried: 81
  • Unanswered Queries: 51
  • Query Rejections: 30
  • Partials Requested: 3

10% positive interest in my manuscript. Not bad. I’ll take it.

Milestones

Broke 41k words last night while working on Stars. Right on target and halfway there. Small milestone but an important one.

Partials

I have had requests for partials from three different agents over the last few weeks. Huzzah! Hooray! Huge news! Exciting, and overwhelming, and stress inducing, and, and, and, and…

A million thoughts swim though my head: How mistakes are in there I didn’t catch? Should I have paid an editor? What if they hate it? Is 50 pages enough? Did I do enough to hook a reader into wanting more? These sort of things eat at me, makes me doubt myself, and doubt my work, and if I really let it get to me I’d freeze. I’d never finish. I would never have gotten a requests for partials. I’d never be done.

There’s a quote from Voltaire I strive to live by, “perfect is the enemy of done.” It’s 100% true. I could keep working on that sentence, that paragraph, that chapter. I could work it and rework it and then I’d have another sentence, paragraph or chapter to work and rework. it becomes cyclical. I can’t tell you how many times I have written and re-written parts of my manuscript and – if I’m being honest about it – I didn’t improve anything.

Eventually you need to get your work out there. Circulate it, let it be what it is. Not everyone will love it, but if no one sees your creation you’ve robbed them of the chance to love it.

Three partials: I count that as a win.

A terrible writer.

Confession: I am a terrible writer. I never did well in english class in high school or college, I have a difficult time understanding where the damn semicolon is supposed to go, and I often type weather when I mean whether. It’s rough. I feel sorry for my future editors.

None of this stops me. I will keep writing, and my skills will improve. I have no plans to stop. My next manuscript will be stronger than the next, and the one after that? Well it’ll be even better. I can’t stop. The thing is I love being a storyteller. I love plot. I enjoy creating great characters and constructing believable worlds.

So while I struggle along with my poor keyboard skills and my worse grammer, I won’t stop writing. I’m going to keep it up. Forever. I want to tell these stories, I want to build these worlds, I want to explore these characters, I want to entertain.