That Extra Persistence

That Extra Persistence - try and stop me turtle

Someone told me at a writers’ conference a couple years ago that every author needs three things in order to get published: (1) Talent. (2) Persistence. (3) Luck. I’ve never forgotten that, especially now that I’m querying. Talent, I think I have—at least several people have told me I’m a good writer. Persistence, yes. Luck…I have to admit, I haven’t felt too lucky recently.

First there was COVID, then the freeze and losing water for over three weeks, and most recently it was the stuff last week…things can take a toll after a while. I’ve received a couple agent rejections in the last few weeks, but more notably (for me, anyway) is the fact that I’ve had no recent manuscript requests.

This made me want to take another hard look at my query letter. I’ve been reluctant until now to even consider it because a former lit agent helped me write it, and I’m so, so, so grateful to her for sharing her expertise. Times do change, however, and a rework may be necessary.

Researching query letters quickly spiked my anxiety levels. Everyone has an opinion and they aren’t all the same. It’s tough to determine the best route to go, and you only get one shot at querying an agent a particular project (sometimes it’s one shot for the entire agency). I selected the style that I thought would best grab the agent’s attention (while still remaining professional), gutted my entire query, including my synopsis, and redid the whole thing. Then the seeds of doubt began to sprout.

Luck hasn’t really been on my side recently; do I really want to press it with a new query not reviewed by an expert (former or not)? Another part is telling me to try it and see what response I get. Uncertainty is a terrible thing when you don’t have anxiety; with it, well, it’s unbearable. But this is the price.

I need talent, persistence, and luck. Well, I can’t have much luck if I’m not persistent in sending out queries. The luck’s kind of sucking right now, so how much worse can it get, right? Okay. So, I’m going to take a deep breath—maybe two—and send off some queries with my revised letter. If I still don’t receive manuscript requests, I’ll stop, take a step back, and reevaluate. That’s my plan.

That Extra Persistence - blowing dandelion

So, today, my writer’s lift to you is this: Don’t give up. Even if you feel hopeless and overwhelmed. Because that extra persistence might just produce a little bit of luck.

‘Til next time!


If you’re in need of a writer’s lift and would like to advertise your book, blog, or website on my site, check out my Other Authors page.

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