The 11 Stages of Querying

  1. Agony: The stage where you must actually write your query letter. Often happens alongside side effects Self Doubt and Sudden and Unexplained Anger. Lots of yelling and stomping and throwing yourself over the arm of a couch in abject horror.
Screaming into a sponge is always helpful.

2. Crying: Or, actually sending a query letter. It is very emotional to actually send a query letter, because you are putting your baby out into the world. Shh… baby it okay.

3. Pretend Apathy: The stage in which you pretend you really don’t care if anyone ever responds to your query letter, you’re just doing it for you!

Because I don’t, I super duper don’t care.

4. REGRET: The moment where you can’t believe you have done such a stupid thing and you regret every word you’ve ever written and you QUIT.

Who allowed me to make such a terrible mistake?

5. Day Two: You realized you only sent out your query YESTERDAY and you could perhaps chill out a little.

Me @ Me.

6. Denial: You actually get a response. It might be a manuscript request or a request for more pages or even get a polite rejection, but you seriously cannot believe that someone has READ some of your stuff and RESPONDED to it in some way. WHAT EVEN.

Holy crap.

7. Elation: You got a response and therefore you are the KING OF AMERICA or something equally ridiculous. You win everything. You are a majestic sea horse of beauty and art. You have a dog now.

I’m the greatest.


Please please please please please.

9. Panic: Holy shit holy shit shit shit I’m never going to hear anything further ever again I am a terrible person and an awful writer shit shit shit and everything is terrible and I’ve let down my mother and my dog is disappointed in me and oh god how do I make it stop.


10. Acceptance: In which you come to accept that you may never actually get anything back from any agent or publisher and that is fine…

Fuck that noise, you’re not accepting ANYTHING.

Get away, acceptance!

11. Lather, rinse, repeat: In which you go through the whole of this nonsense all over again because you really love to make yourself miserable. Send another query letter and buck up.

Everyone loves to torture themselves.