Insecure Writers Support Group

I have been working on my MS for over a year now. I have written, rewritten, revised, edited, added punctuation marks, removed punctuation marks, and returned deleted punctuation marks to their proper places. I have taken a series of unconnected occurrences written out of order and put them into a semblance of plot. I added chapters, removed scenes, had characters misbehave and come out the better for it. I have read through the whole thing four separate times, and had CPs on it twice (getting ready for a third time).
I hope to start querying soon, and I'm really worried about that. I even considered skipping the whole process and just self publishing, but my reasons all boiled down to me being afraid of the inevitable rejections. And I know I'll get a ton of rejections, because I know writing a successful query will be just as hard as writing the novel. I technically know what a query letter is, and what it's supposed to look like, but applying that to my novel is really hard.
Last week I discovered Query Shark. I don't know why it took me so long to find this site, but it has been a revelation. Anyone looking to query, or wondering why they keep getting rejected, should probably stop by and read a few of the critiques. I have already learned a lot, I just haven't figured out how to make it work for me yet.


  1. Query shark is wonderful, I'm glad you found it. Rejection is hard, but remember it is so subjective.

  2. Query shark is great. Not that I had the courage to ever submit to it, but I read her entire site and I prepped my query. Best of luck to you. Querying is scary, but it's worth it. Nice to meet you, I'm and IWSG blogger too.

  3. I was terrified of rejection, even though I was assured it's all part of the process. And the first few (many) sucked. The very first query letter I sent came back as a rejection about 15 minutes later! Granted, she was known to be very fast, but that didn't help me rationalize. I thought it was a sign...

    And now I understand that it's part of the process. I still get disappointed, but it's not crushing. I love my book, and I can't wait for "the one" who can appreciate it like I do.

    Good luck, and I'll help you with your query if you want a set of eyes to look it over!

  4. This is the thing I'm terrified of, when I eventually get to that stage. I hate rejection, but who doesn't? It's just something we have to live with.
    Great find, I'm bookmarking that website!

  5. You can do it! Glad you found a site to help you too!

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  7. Writing a query letter is as difficult as writing a novel? That's setting yourself up for failure, my friend. A query letter is just a business letter, proposing a business partnership. Yes, there is a craft to it, just like there's a craft for writing compelling book teasers, but it can be learned, and it's certainly not as difficult as writing a novel.

    Just take the same care to learn how to do it right as you did for your novel writing--and honestly, I'm very skeptical about the value of anonymous editor/agent blogs like query shark, miss snark, and editor's anonymous. They take a surprisingly condescending view of writers, especially considering that without writers, they wouldn't have a career. This cavalier attitude is frankly both unprofessional and unbecoming, but so many new writers accept it without question. The editor/agent worship is so pervasive and insidious that one guy even started a blog listing his cat as a literary agent and started getting queries and submissions!

    Long story short, you're a great writer, and it makes me cringe to see that you don't have a backbone. If/when you ever publish those short pieces you did for the Blogging from A to Z challenge in April, I will totally buy them. So don't doubt yourself, and have a little confidence! :D

  8. Hey Jennifer! Yeah, unfortunately rejections are part of this gig. After the first few, they're easy to swallow, at least for me they were. But, you'll find the one person your novel resonates with, and then bam, you're in. If I can offer any advice, it's don't get discouraged. Wish ya the best! Like the new feel to your blog. :)

  9. You are so right query letters are just this weird little thing unto themselves. Still keep going it is always the query you don't send that hurts you the most.

  10. One more thing:

    Frankly, I think you're better off self-publishing your novel, but it has to be part of a wider career strategy, and you have to go in with a clear definition of what success means to you and a willingness to learn, because there is a lot to learn (a LOT!) and the learning curve is very steep. But if you want to have a professional writing career, it is completely worth it.

    I started self-publishing about two years ago, and it completely transformed the way I view myself and my career. It gave me an invaluable education, largely self-taught, on how to be a self-employed freelancer and run a successful business. Even with all the one- and two-star reviews, the months with little or no sales, and all the other hardships (and there are just as many hardships with self-publishing as there are with traditional publishing), my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

    I'm about 50% of the way to achieving my goal of making a full-time living as a writer, and if things keep growing, I should achieve that by this time next year. I don't know what your goals are, but I do know that if your goal is to make a living, you are much better off self-publishing first, simply from a business perspective. But everyone's situation is different, and I don't know yours. All I know is that it was the right thing to do for me.

  11. Query Tracker is supposed to be really good as well.
    The rejections happen. With every one, you are closer to acceptance. You just don't know how close, so you can't give up!

  12. Good one,
    Rejection slips are part and parcel of a writer,
    No writer is above this, even many well known
    writers passed these phases in their life, I
    have posted one blog post on this subject
    Keep Going
    Best Regards


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