In July, after a series of near agent collisions (a couple were VERY interested for a hot minute), I got *the* call. You know what I'm referring to (if you don't, you're lucky not to know the torture that is waiting for said call to finally happen). It was FANFREAKINTASTIC. This agent adored my writing. S/he gushed, really. I was shocked that anyone would see all the things I'd only dreamed of them seeing. It lasted over an hour. We clicked, bonded, fell in love.
But s/he had some ideas. And I was okay with that.
Long story short, revision notes were promised, and it was decided I would shoo other wooing agents away, because someone else was totally into me...I thought. He/she agreed it'd be best to put everyone on notice I had an interested party, even though s/he had not officially offered. Whatever, that didn't bother me. I was stoked on the pending notes to make my story better. Because that's all it's ever about: telling a story that resonates with people in the right way. Mine had (has) a lot of flaws, I know, but s/he said s/he was in love with my writing, not the story, so I felt anything was possible.
And now here we are. I'm not writing this to piss and moan, or complain about his/her decisions (or lack thereof) in what's been happening, because the details don't matter [to you]. What does matter is that you take everything I did, and do the effing opposite. As I fumble around in the dark to find the pieces of my dreams that, I feel, have been shattered, here are some tips for the query warriors...from someone who's been in the trenches a long damn time.
~Never put all your eggos in one toaster. Even if you have stars in your eyes and truly BELIEVE this agent is the one, resist giving in to the temptation. It will only bring heartache if said agent doesn't follow through, and then your options have disappeared.
~If you finally get *the* call, remember that YOU are in charge. Don't let said agent make you believe otherwise. The goal is to get your book sold. Listen hard to every word said and reject false promises and/lofty expectations you, or said agent may tell you.
~Keep querying. This is SOSOSO important. Unless you've received and accepted an official offer, don't stop doing what you're already doing. Trust me.
~Keep writing. This seems so obvious, but let me tell you, I've now realized I wasted 2+ months of sulking, when I should have been writing the next bestseller. Sure, I've dabbled in other WIPs, but I could have transferred ALL that energy into something relevant. Something that means something. Instead, I've spent more time wondering, wishing, praying, crying, and hating the process when in fact, I should have appreciated the ride.
~Be gracious. I can't stress this enough. Even now, as I sit, still wondering about said agent's notes and how much better they could have made my story, if I were to hear from him/her today with a big fat NO, I'd still be grateful. I now know what it feels like, from one phone call, to feel valuable and important. Even if I never feel that way again, I will always remember the way s/he made me feel that day when I truly felt like DREAMS DO COME TRUE.
So, friends, while you're out querying and blogging and all that shizz today, tell me, have you made a rookie querying mistake (even if you're an old pro) like falling head over heels for someone who's just not that into you? How did you deal? What was your comfort food? Should I seek out Brady for a long and awkward hug?
Candyland, the dreamer. OUT.