Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Querying Is Like...

...Asking the cutest guy in school for a date, being laughed at by him and his horde of teammates and then having your picture defaced in the school yearbook by said jockaholic.

Just. Like. That.

My Querying Toolkit:
1. Supportive writerly friends (preferably on gmail so I can whine chat with them on a whim)
2. Reese's peanut butter cups and French's French fried onion thingies (chocolate + fried food = snack of champions. Er...queryers. Should that be an i? Queriers? They're both freaking me out.)
3. A new writing project (but who are we kidding??)
4. Home remodeling (or some other task that you normally abhor. Hey, it actually makes querying better, if you can believe it)

How have you endured querying? What's in your query toolkit?


Scott said...

Querying Toolkit:
1) Wine
2) Margaritas
3) Baileys in my Morning Coffee

Oh, wait, that's the How to Survive the Family Visit.

Querying Toolkit:
1) Elana's EBook
2) Folder Full of Useful Information Gleaned from Fabulous Blogs
3) Wine
4) Blogging Friends
5) New Writing Project and/or Project Almost Ready to Query that needs Final Editing Touches
6) Bonding time with Jesse, James, and Squeaky (dogs/cat)

Natalie said...

Hmm, I'd say:

1. A long vacation with hard to access email (so you can only check once every day)

2. Friends (my writer group girls were invaluable)

3. PATIENCE! (Even if it doesn't take forever it FEELS like forever)

Abby Annis said...

#3 made me laugh. Querying always makes me way more critical of my writing, so there's no way I can work on anything new. :)

And writerly friends are a must for querying. No one else gets it. Oh, and chocolate, but that's necessary for most things.

Love this post!

Jen said...

I'd have to say telling a writer friend that I'm querying helps. She keeps asking, "So, are you finished?" Much to my annoyance, but it works. It makes me get it done. Of course, now that it's done, I'm re-editing. How do I survive that? I don't. I complain all th way to the chair, force myself through at least five chapters and then find something else to do. Like fold socks.

Katie Ganshert said...

I'm retiring my querying toolkit. Happy I don't need it anymore. It just was a big lump of patience in a box only I never could get the key to work.

DL Hammons said...

I'm smack-dab in the middle of trying to write my query letter. It is a totally agonizing process and I can see now why so many talented writers never have anything published. To make matters worse, it seems that everybody has their own idea's about what one should look like (or read like). ARGH!!!!

My toolkit has come to include:
1. Numerous on-line critque groups.
2. A bottle of Tums.
3. My IPod...earbuds...and playlist entitled "Comfortably Numb"
4. Google reader where I read other writers blogs and commiserate.
5. And most importantly - the DELETE key.

Danyelle L. said...

*makes a note to introduce Elana to veggies that haven't been deep fried* O:)

Friends are definitely tops--this includes Beloved Spouse Creatures. It is there support that keeps me from sliding completely into becoming neurotic.

Blogs and helpful agenting sites.

Characters that won't shut up or leave me alone, thus diverting some of my attention away from my inbox.

Unknown said...

I will soon start this process and will be borrowing many of the suggestions listed here. Elana's ebook is awesome and has made me feel a little calmer about everything...we'll see how I'm doing once I actually start though :)

Stephanie McGee said...

If I ever hit this stage, I'll have to revisit some of the toolkit ideas here. I'm hoping to be there by the end of 2010. We'll see how that goes...

L. T. Host said...

Agreed on writing something new. It's the only thing that really seems to help.

But, being distracted in other ways can be good, too. Just keep yourself busy however you can. And time seems to help-- it's not so bad a couple days out, even easier a couple weeks out, etc.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Not yet, but I'm about to enter the Query Wars and I'm definitely buying your ebook in the next few weeks!!!:-)

Windy said...

My Querying Toolkit consists of:

1) A thick skin
2) bandaids because inevitably, the skin is not thick enough
3) patience - though for some reason this keeps falling out of the toolkit
4) FB & Farmville
5) Kidlets to distract me
6) Dear friends who talk me off the ledge
7) Bacon

I think that about covers it. I exclude reference materials as there is so much stuff there I have to keep it in my Preparing to Query Toolkit, which is much larger and weighs a million more, thereby making it less of a toolkit and more of a tool shed...

Melanie Hooyenga said...

This is so true!! My main thing was having another project to work on. I still obsessed, but at least I was occupied.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Totally up for #4. I still remember reading a comment by woman who was tending her garden while riots were going on in her neighborhood--she said it calmed her to garden. I think doing physical tasks is a great way to shut up our inner worriers.

Carolyn V. said...

Oh, the dreaded query. I queried a while back and realized that I needed a tool kit. I will remember for next time. =)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love the jock comparison! :)

My toolkit:

* my favorite cheer princess for smiles
* my hubby
* hot vanilla lattes and lots of chocolate
* quality time with my kids

Thanks for your comments at Book Dreaming. They were helpful. :)

Elana Johnson said...

Scott, I love your number 1! And all your others too.

Natalie - I'm all over the vacay. When can I take one of those?

Abby, it's true that only writers get querying. Some people don't even know what that word means.

Jen - wanna come fold my socks? I have lots. And lots.

DL - that's true, but sometimes you just have to do what YOU want it to look like, sound like. Make sense?

Danyelle, I'll have you know that I just ate steamed broccoli for lunch. So there. ;P

Thanks Kristi! Good luck in the query pool!

Stephanie, you know I'm gonna hold you to that 2010 goal, now, right? Right.

L.T. Being busy does help. Does being busy angsting count? I think so.

Frankie - yay! Good luck!

Windy, you make me smile. And how did I forget bacon?? Sheesh.

Melanie, so OCD could be "Occupied Compulsive Disorder"? Oooh, I like.

Tricia, so true! I mopped on Monday. That was good thinking time.

Carolyn - You do need a tool kit. Everyone needs one.

Shannon - I credit Glee. And I'm glad my comment helped. :)

Unknown said...

This whole querying thing would be much easier if the agents would just start coming to us!

Sigh...your description of querying is WAY too accurate.

ali cross said...

Sheesh. I don't have a querying toolkit. Not yet anyway!

PJ Hoover said...

1. Wine
2. Patience
3. Belief

Tracy Loewer said...

Aw, man! Nobody told me I needed a tool kit for querying. *adds to list of stuff to remember while querying*

Tamika: said...

I'm writing a tool kit list now! I haven't begun this process yet, but I'm learning what a challenge it can be.

I'll definitely keep a stash of chocolate nearby.

Unknown said...

I've only just started querying so I'm planning to stock the house with:

1. Chocolate
2. Disney flicks (very good at cheering me up)
3. White Chocolate Mocha's... so, I guess I'm going to be making lots of stops to Starbucks in the coming months.

Jemi Fraser said...

I need lots and lots of support & choclate helps. I've only just started this stage - sent out 10 queries a bit ago. Waiting for feedback from a couple before I revise & try again :)

Elana Johnson said...

Oooh, I like Disney flicks too! Support, check. Chocolate, check.

Good luck, Jemi and Cheree!

Anonymous said...

These analogies are DEAD ON. You're awesome, Elana!

Bethany Wiggins said...

Straight from the fingers of the query ninja.

Christine Fonseca said...

Confession time...I avoid querying like the plague! But, when I finally get up the nerve...I whine to my writerly friends - and they get me through it!

Heather Sunseri said...

I love this! I'm thinking my querying toolkit looks like this:

1. A fesh new plotting notebook for the next book
2. bottle of wine or four
3. Definitely a remodeling project - I love that one
4. God on speed dial

Robin Mellom said...

We're supposed to have a Toolkit!!?? Doh!

I've been over here wallowing in misery. I'm gonna try those french fried onion thingies.

lisa and laura said...

Dude, you forgot the most important thing....Your left finger to hit the F9 key to refresh your e-mail. Constantly. Duh.

Stina said...

Let's see ... cleaning supplies. Now I can finally clean the house. Something I've kinda neglected while I was working on my novel. It's hard to check your inbox while you're scrubbing the walls. :D And I finally saw New Moon yesterday. There's nothing better to distract you from the rejections than appreciating the wolf pack's fine . . . um. . . acting skills. :D

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