I’ll be honest. I haven’t sent a query letter out in ages. That doesn’t mean I've given up or don’t have material out there with agents. There’s still one full out with an agent who seems to have dropped off the face of the planet, and a big R&R I finished in December with an agent who I’m really looking forward to hearing from.
But that’s it.
Every book I write, it’s the same vicious cycle: I get an idea I can run with, write like a maniac, finish the book, get excited, spend the necessary time revising and going back and forth with betas before that crucial moment where it’s time to query. I have an insane list of agents who represent the kind of books I write. I’ve done the research. And sure, those first few queries are always filled with blind optimism that ‘this will be the one!’.
And time and time again, I came close, but no cigar.
The last year, however, my process has been stunted. Sure, I’ve written 20k here, or 30k there on a couple different projects. But I lost interest in them before I could make it to the next step. Add in some personal drama and an R&R rejection that left me gutted for a few months and you’ve got the crazy mess that is my current creative well.
As you can see from my last blogpost, I’m not going to put pressure on myself to start the process anew. But I can’t help feeling kind of like the kid that stays home to work on the farm while all his friends go off to college.
Or the middle-aged woman who’s still looking for Mr. Right while all her girlfriends settle down and start popping out pink bundles of joy.
So many of my writer friends have moved on. They’ve either given up, or gone forward. They’ve signed with agents. Or small presses. Or decided to self publish their first books. Their goals have changed. Their priorities and how they spend their time has changed. They've traded in agent-search sites, querying and craft-honing for goodreads ratings, amazon reviews and sales and marketing...
Which is good.
It’s what we’re supposed to do, right? We’re supposed to move on and move forward.
And while I’m excited, proud, and envious of all of my writer friends who have advanced in the process, I can’t help feeling like the pool of people still actually querying agents is getting smaller and smaller.
I know that self-pubbing and small presses have become increasingly popular. But has the general consensus become that querying agents is no longer the next logical step when you want to become a successful published writer? Is anyone still querying? Or am I holding onto a quickly-shrinking iceberg?