The doldrums: writing, reading, querying, waiting

I’ve entered a doldrums period, where I’m feeling a little isolated as I tweak my The Murder Plague manuscript, read, dash off occasional queries, and wait for something to happen.

Something tells me that waiting for something to happen is a bad strategy. But I’m finding little tactical advantages, among the few websites, forums, books, ideas and other resources, to drive my mission of becoming a former unpublished author.

So I count. I’ve now sent out 33 agent queries, which is a relatively low number compared with the 50-150 range that seems to be the sweet spot for authors to find agents. I remain however naively optimistic. Twenty-one of those queries went out before I suspended my effort in mid-March in order to go through the beta-reader step. Since I completed that phase and resumed my solicitation three weeks ago, I’ve sent out 12 more.

I still find it curious that so many agents simply do not respond at all. There’s nothing much gained from a rejection letter, especially a form letter. But they do bring closure. When I get one, I can at least cross an agent off the list. So far, out of 33, I’ve received, 10 have sent me rejection letters and I have declared another 11 to have “expired” based on their stated response times.

That leaves 12, with a couple more expiration dates only days away.

Doldrums test faith, resolve and patience.

Am I doing something wrong? Should I rethink my query, overhaul my synopsis,  jazz up my all-important first 5 pages? Should I be calling someone or finding a whole new approach?

Right now my answers to all of these questions is no. It’s only been 33 queries. But I am an impatient man and nothing annoys me more than nothing.

5 thoughts on “The doldrums: writing, reading, querying, waiting

  1. I’m curious Scott: Do you use the Scene/Sequel MRU concept of writing? The Beats? Any of those things?

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