Yes, No, Wait

I’ve often had discussions with my friends about how when you pray for something, God has three possible answers–yes, no, or wait. If it’s “yes,” obviously I celebrate! And if it’s “no,” at least I can figure out how to move on. But that “wait” answer … I hate that one, especially since I can’t predict whether it will turn into a “yes” or a “no” later.

It occurred to me yesterday as I sent out my last round of queries for DUET that I’m dealing with the same scenario as I query. (Not that I’m comparing agents to God. They’re not that powerful.)

  1. I query, asking them to consider my novel.
  2. They say, “yes, send it to me!” Or, “no, it’s not for me.” Or…
  3. I wait. Maybe they have a query backlog. Maybe they’ve put me in a maybe pile. There are a whole host of questions that go along with waiting. Maybe you’ve asked some of these.

If the answer is yes:

  1. I submit, asking them to love my novel.
  2. They say, “yes, I want to represent you!” (Haven’t gotten that one yet :).) Or, “no, it’s not for me,” and maybe tell me why. Or…
  3. A different kind of waiting, with some hope thrown in. “I like so much about this, but it’s not quite there. If you do x and y, I’d love to see it again.” I’ve blogged before about that magical word–IF.

If it’s either scenario in No. 2, then the waiting is over. But if it’s No. 3–otherwise known as an R&R–you have to repeat the last few steps all over again.

Sometimes it feels like a never-ending process, but for now, I’m done with the querying/submitting, and I’m back to waiting. There’s a lot of advice out there about what to do while you wait. In my case, I’ve picked up some extra freelance work, and I’m focusing on my WIP, which I really should give some kind of title :). And I’ve decided not to torture myself by stalking QueryTracker stats and trying to figure out if I’m in a maybe pile or when an agent will get to my query or submission. That way lies craziness. I know.

I’m still praying that my dream of traditional publication–starting with an agent–will come true. And for now, God says, “Wait.” So I will.

How do you cope with waiting?

Responses to “Yes, No, Wait”

  1. Carla Cullen

    Waiting is the hardest, isn’t it? I found it’s best not to torment myself by following agents’ Twitter feeds too closely or by going on Query Tracker every other day. I try to focus on writing new stuff. And my house is usually amazingly clean!

    • Michelle I. Mason

      Good for you on the house cleaning. I’m too lazy for that :). I have a column on my Tweetdeck for agents I’ve queried or submitted to. I don’t mind following that. I actually saw an agent tweet about my query in a good way once. And it’s also helpful when they tweet updates about where they are. The QT thing, though, I’ve been doing that, and it’s a bit of an addiction. From today on, I’m limiting that to once a week. It will be much better for my sanity.

  2. Joanne Fritz

    I’m in this phase too, Michelle. The first round of queries has been sent and I’ve had a few responses already. I’m told it’s wonderful to get request for a full, so that was a happy moment. What do I do while I’m waiting? I keep writing. I have so many ideas zooming around in my brain, there’s never enough time to capture them all. Good luck to you!

  3. Elizabeth Fais

    I’ll be hopping aboard the submission train this month. The waiting game is inevitable. To counteract the stress, I plan on starting right in on my next project.


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