I always value when other writers share their tips and methods regarding the writing process as I am a stronger believer that we can all support each other and learn from each other, whatever our level of experience.
I recently shared my tips of synopsis writing (click here to read it) but really enjoyed how Lorraine broke things down and her tips such as giving character names in capitals when you first introduce them.
The scary thing about querying agents is that they’ll either accept you and promise to make your dream of being an author a reality or reject you. Sadly, agents get so many queries you are most likely to receive the later. Here is how to handle it:
1. Don’t takes it personally
“It’s not you, it’s them.” This is the main reason they’ll say no. Fiction is an art and subjective. Your agent needs to love it to get behind it. They also need time to promote your books and can’t take it if it competes with another they are already pushing or can’t invest the time it deserves.
2. Deal with your feelings
It’s okay to be disappointed. All fiction writers have wild imaginations and you likely had a little day dream about getting signed by them. It’s okay and it’s not personal. Publishing is a business. So, allow yourself time to process their reply and don’t respond about what a big mistake they’ve made in passing on you. Just accept their position and move on.
3. Be in it, to win it
If you didn’t query, you’d never find an agent. Give yourself a pat on the back for all you have achieved. Writing a novel is no easy feat. It takes time, persistence and editing not to mention the accompanying documents. You’ve achieved so much. Be proud of yourself for being brave enough to put yourself out there.
4. Don’t give up
What sets apart ‘real writers’ from ‘wannabe writers’ is that we don’t give up. It’s time to think about the next project. You know, once you are lost in a new plot you’ll forget all about the agent(s) that said no. Perhaps this new novel will be the next best seller.
Reflect on the process, review your submission(s), relook at the market and agents out there. Every experience is a chance to learn. If you allow yourself to gain from this, you will become a stronger writer. You can make changes, improve, and query again. Next round, they might say yes!
Please share with me your experience and tips for querying and how you handle rejection?
If you’ve not queried yet, I hope this post gives you the courage to go for it. Please let me know how you get on.
To start the year, I set myself some goals for the year ahead. I plan to check how I’m getting on with that periodically during the year to check I’m on track. If you set yourself goals it is important to check on yourself to make sure you are on target and to re-focus yourself.
Summary: Considering these were annual targets I think I’ve kicked off the year with a really good start at achieving them. I’m not sure listing my goals as bullet points was the best idea, so to re-focus I shall put my goals into a table.
Blogging Goals Review
ACHIEVED: I migrated both my blogs into one blog and I am using categories to split the content up from ‘writing’ topics and ‘beauty topics.
ACHIEVED: I planned to post at least once a week and I have been exceeding this – posting two to three times a week. Sometimes as often as four times. Taking the pressure off has increased my productivity.
ACHIEVED: I’ve reduced my scheduled posts on LoCal so that they only run for two weeks so if I run out of time to change them, I am not Constantly spamming people with the same things for weeks with no end.
ACHIEVED: I have started including some personal posts on my blog such as my son’s World Book Day and What I’ve Been Watching.
ALMOST ACHIEVED: I wanted to start vlogging. This has involved researching how to do it and plucking up the courage. In addition, I need the house to be quiet for recording which doesn’t happen often. However, I have posted a video on YouTube reviewing Agent Hunter (see below) and I have a scheduled blog post about this coming soon.Wri
NOT ACHIEVED: I haven’t approached any brands to see if they’d like me to represent them. However, my Instagram pics of my The Pip Box won and I got my March box free (review of the free box coming April).
Writing Goals Review
ACHIEVED: I have stopped editing Drift and started querying.
NOT ACHIEVED: I have not started work on finishing Glide. I have been really busy with my course at college and work. However, I have three weeks off for Easter break and hope to re-visit this project over the coming weeks.
NOT ACHIEVED: I have not started a new story idea – not that I’m not full of ideas.
NOT ACHIEVED: I’ve not had time to read the programme for Felixstowe Book Festival but intend to buy tickets and go. I have decided to miss YALC this year (will explain more soon).
NOT ACHIEVED: Completing a writing course is on hold until I finish my current course at college.
ALMOST ACHIEVED: I have been reading more since getting my Kindle. I have almost finished The Gender Game and will review the title and my Kindle once I have. I am a slow reader with only a few chances to read.
NOT ACHIEVED: I have not found out more about how Twitter queries work. However, I have been networking more on Instagram and meeting lots of writers online this way.
If you read my earlier post from today, you’ll know that I’ve reflected on how 2017 went. This inspired me to set my goals for the year ahead.
I now absolutely love blogging. I’m addicted. It is has raised in my ranks of importance. Here are my goals for 2018:
Categories: Currently, I am running three blogs. One for beauty review, one for anything related to writing and books and another that shares the posts by both. It is very time consuming and exhausting! I shall now be migrating them all to this blog and using categories to present content relevant to the readers interests.
I was trying to post two articles a week and did pretty well but sometimes it was hard. I need post regularly but once a week is sufficient and I can schedule posts.
I’ve been using loCal (free online calendar) to schedule my tweets. I was unwell in December and never updated my tweets! Aghh! My poor followers had the same tweets for another month *cringe*. Setting an end date is important.
Personal: Keeping to my categories has meant that when life is busy I haven’t anything relevant to post whereas if I start sharing more about me (like being a mum or working in education), I could have more content and make my life easier.
Vlogging: I did my first video blog this year and I was really impressed at how easy it was. I know I have more to learn to make my videos better but you’ve got to start somewhere. I’ve also done some ‘unboxing’ videos on my instagram.
Product reviews: I need to not be shy to contact brands that I love to see if they’ll support me reviewing their product. I hope that in 2018 I will get the chance to review more products as I really enjoyed my experience of reviewing Saal Digital’s photo book.
My dream is still to be published and I still would love to go down the traditional route but not found an agent (or publisher) but some of that is my fault as I don’t query enough.
Drift/Jewel of the sea: Stop editing and start querying!
Glide: I know how this story ends and I need to finish it. Readers who loved Drift (on Wattpad) want to read the next book in the series. I have had so much support and encouragement and one user even sent me pictures of Scotland to help me.
Start a fresh new story: I don’t want this to distract from the above goals but I’ve got lots of new story ideas and I really need to start something fresh. I hope to make a start on this later in 2018.
Writer courses: I’m very busy at the moment with a course for work but once that is out of the way I’d like to continue my studies with Write Story Books for Children and Write Romance fiction. I’m enrolled on both these courses ready to complete when I have time. I also would happily do another Curtis Brown Creative course online.
Reading: I got a Kindle at last! I plan to start reading more in 2018 and hope to discover some amazing reads to review on my blog (and Good Reads).
Twitter queries: I need to learn when these are running so ~I