Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Not Worth the Risk, But...

Now, I'm sure we all remember a few weeks back when I did just about the stupidest thing I'd done since I started on this whole writing gig - I re-queried an agent five minutes after I got rejected by her. Not with a different project and not by accident. It was a (somewhat) well thought out decision. And okay, it wasn't five minutes after. It was a good couple of hours, but it was still the same day.
I've been kicking myself since then. Wondering why I thought it was such a smart idea, what brain-snap could have possibly led me to believe doing something I know I shouldn't do was a good move to make. Imaging that if I ever happened to want to query that agent again, it'd be an immediate 'no' because I'd been put on the "authors who can't take no for an answer" list. Truthfully, even though I'd been regretting it, I knew all along that if I had a do-over, I'd have still done the same thing. Why? Because I'm a writer. And there is a huge part of me that won't take "no" for an answer.
But this morning, there was an exciting revelation waiting for me in my email inbox. An email from that agent. I was quite astonished, I'd assumed I'd just never hear from her again, so was surprised that she would take the time to re-reject me. But when I opened the email, it was a request to see the first three chapters.
My happy dance has been tempered by the reckless risk I took in immediately re-querying her. It was more of an eating-humble-pie dance than anything. So while I still don't condone breaking the rules of querying and agent etiquette, I have to admit, this time around it worked for me.
Now if she happens to fall in love with it and decide to take it on, this story really will be one for the press. In the past, I'd always hated reading about authors who found success by breaking the rules, when I'd been doing such a stringent job of following them exactly (I was jealous, admittedly. I used to think, "don't you think I want to break the rules? Wouldn't I love to get one step ahead of the pack? But I don't! I do exactly what they tell me to do!"). But look at me now, I've become what I used to loathe.
Maybe the point of this story is not about heedlessly going off half-cocked and conceitedly breaking agent's querying rules left, right and centre, but knowing when the risk of doing so might be worth it. But also having the foresight to know it could all end in a horrible mess.
And now we've strayed into philosophical territory, never a safe place for me!
I'm off to submit my first three chapters to a lovely agent. With fingers crossed. Which makes typing damn near impossible.

2 comments:

Kez said...

WOoohooo Jess! Fingers crossed for you!

jenn j mcleod said...

Good on you for breaking the rules. Loving the website look (and that terrific award!!!!)