On Patience and Querying
I’m not a patient person. And I think a lot of people can relate to me when I say that. I swear, human beings were just not meant to be patient. But in this business, the need to wait for things never ends. It starts with querying, but it doesn’t end when you get that magical call. After that, you’ll still have to wait while you’re on sub, wait for edits, wait for copyedits, wait for the day your book is finally in stores, wait for your next sale, and so on. I haven’t reached any of these steps yet, but ever since I landed my wonderful agent, I’ve become more and more aware of how much waiting is still ahead of me.
Querying didn’t go quickly for me. I queried on and off for more than a year, revising, shelving, rewriting, tearing out hair. I started querying the book that got me an agent in March, and it was June before I had an offer. I’d like to say I went through the querying process with perfect grace, but I didn’t. I saved the angsting for my friends (because the world doesn’t need to see that!) but it was not always easy to wait patiently.
Still, having to wait for something I wanted so much gave me some time for introspection. I was constantly aware of my patience level, even when it was alarmingly abysmal. I started to notice my patience level elsewhere, too. And I realized something: in general, I was becoming more patient. Way more patient. I’m never going to be the queen of patience, but I think maybe I realized that I would not actually die from waiting for something.
And I think it’s kind of awesome that the skill querying taught me the most about is the one it tested the hardest. Just goes to show, you never know what you might learn.