Pep Talks

Mark here. I realize we need to come up with a way to identify the author of the posts. I’ll work on that. But …

I posted a couple of weeks ago about my search for an agent for The Dime. I sent a query out to five agents. Within a couple of days, I got my first rejection. Which is fine. I expect it.

But … I also asked a writing friend to take a look at my query and give me feedback. He gave me some good info on how to improve the thing. And since then I’ve been stalling. I just … jeez … I have no optimism that this will actually work. It’s such a crap shoot.

In my other life, I’m an attorney. A world filled with rules and procedures. There is plenty of gray in the legal world, but there are still parameters around which there is some clarity. With the world of agenting and querying and publishing, I just have no idea what those parameters are.

Why? Because I’m convinced it all comes down to a very subjective, personal level of taste and interest. No amount of perfecting my query letter will make a difference. It’s just so … what’s the point of the effort, when the result just feels so random and undefined?

So … I’m trying to give myself a pep talk. Writers out there … what do you do when you need a pep talk? Is it an internal, solo thing? Or are there people you can turn to — other writers, readers, friends, family — who pick you up, pat you on the back and say “keep on keeping on, you’ll get there.”

We all need pep talks every now and then. We need encouragement that what we are doing makes sense, has meaning and value. Where do you find that?


  1. I have to say — the best pep talk I ever had while I was on the agent and publisher querying trail was the one that recommended self-publishing. You’ve put your finger on the spot here — every agent and publisher has different standards and in the end it’s pretty subjective. You get only one shot with each one of them, and you have no idea what changes to make to your query letter or to those first pages or chapters to improve your chances on the next attempt. Once that soaked in, I pretty much gave up on querying. That said, once you’ve perfected your query materials and researched your targets, just keep sending them out. Maybe you’ll make a connection.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. kingmidget says:

      I’m trying, but I don’t know how long I’ll last. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Don’t let me discourage you, Mark. I persisted for 10 years and even had a few near misses.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. kingmidget says:

        Oh, you’re not discouraging me. It’s just the process that is discouraging. You send a bunch of emails out and then either get quick rejections or nothing. For weeks.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That was my experience too.

        Liked by 1 person

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