1. you are a complete emotional train wreck.

your mood swings are insane. one moment you're all OH BOY OH BOY I AM SO PUMPED YOU GUYS THIS IS GOING TO BE SUPER SWELL and the next you're rereading your query letter and your manuscript and you discover 17 typos on page 22 and you're ready to start bawling your eyes out because YOU'VE READ THIS MANUSCRIPT ELEVENTY-BILLION TIMES and how is it even POSSIBLE that you didn't see these things until you SENT IT OFF and then you're sitting there, hiccuping sobs and sniffling snotbubbles when for no reason but the sheer manic state of your brain do you suddenly switch off and feel a strange hope that maybe things will work out, that maybe this agent will be The One, the one who loves you and gets you and sends you special messages on twitter and then OHHHHHH YOU'RE GOING TO VOMIT EVERYWHERE and maybe, you know what? you don't even know, you're crying again, and maybe now you've thrown a few sharp objects across the room and you're hit with SUDDEN BRILLIANCE. you have the perfect solution. you're going to be PRODUCTIVE. you're going to spend your every waking hour doing "research" to help assuage your ailing heart.

yes. that's right.

2. you develop stalker-like tendencies.

you start reading agent blogs, twitter feeds, every interview they've ever given on the internet, hoping for some kind of magical insight into the possible outcome of your situation. you're searching for a sign, a signal that they're secretly in love with you (or will soon be secretly in love with you!) and your manuscript. you're hoping for a glimpse into their thoughts, their feeeeeelings, their reactions to what they're receiving in their slushpile. do they seem happy today? do they sound excited about something? all of a sudden you're all omg omg maybe it's because they're in love with my manuscript OR WAIT. MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE'S MANUSCRIPT AND THEY HATE MINE SO MUCH THEY WISH I WOULD JUST FALL OFF A CLIFF AND OMG THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING WHY DID I EVER EVEN GET OUT OF BED 5 DAYS AGO SOMEONE PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST SHOOT ME IN THE FACE

3. you exhibit an almost Pavlovian response to the pinging chime of your inbox.

this is pretty self-explanatory. but suffice it to say that the moment you hear that sound, you will exhibit a multitude of emotions, including, but not limited to:

- nausea
- vomiting
- sweating
- crying
- anger
- anxiety
- shaking
- twitching
- insomnia
- loss of dignity

4. people will stop liking you.

all you care about, all you want to talk about, all you even want to think about is your inbox. if you own a smartphone, you are constantly checking your emails. at work. at home. in the middle of dinner. every 3 minutes. every 2 minutes. hell, who are you kidding, every 60 seconds. did you used to have a family? maybe you had a couple of kids? yeah? whatever happened to them? refresh refresh refresh HEY SO I READ THIS THING ON THE TWEETER ABOUT SHE SAID THAT THE THING AND THE YEAH AND YOU KNOW I REALLY THINK will be just about the only words you're capable of stringing together coherently. your ACQUAINTANCES will like you just fine -- you'll put on a smiling face for THEM, and when they ask you how you're doing, you'll cry only just a LITTLE bit -- but it's your truest friends and family who will not be able to stand the sight of you. every day it's, Oh, hey! How are you doing, Janie? and you're already pacing up and down the living room waving your arms like a crazy person, wringing your hands and WHAT IS THIS CHILD AND WHY IS IT CLINGING TO ME HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT MY QUERY LETTER YET

5. you want to give up.

you want to make the agony disappear, you want to make the pain stop, you want to back away slowly and take what little is left of your dignity and retire in Bermuda but wait, you were really hoping to cash in on that book thing because without the book thing all you can afford is a rickety adirondack chair at the ledge of your local community pool but the point is YOU'RE REALLY SICK AND TIRED OF THIS and you can't even REMEMBER the last time you had a nap, or slept through the night, and OH MY GOD HAS ANYONE BEEN FEEDING THE KIDS BECAUSE YOU CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER

it gets scary.
it gets scary as hell.

but know this: we've all had the crazies. all of us. and it's just a part of the process.

you, my friend, will be just fine.

never give up.



KT said...

So freaking true. This is me right now. 2 and 3 are definitely my weak points... hahah :)

Rebecca T. said...

And suddenly I understand my sister this past week so much better :)

I think this should be given to all the close family and friends of anyone querying!

Glynis said...

LOL, just queried and got two rejections, followed by a NY agent request for three chapters. I know that sick feeling!

Rick said...

I laughed.

And then I cried a little, because I will probably be querying closer to the end of the year.

Rebecca Kiel said...

This is hilarious! I actually laughed out loud! So true.

Erin Bowman said...

This is so accurate it's scary. I'm not sure which is worse: querying or being on submission. *shudders*

Tom M Franklin said...

sadly, this is all very true.

the first time I got a response from my query actually asking to see the manuscript i stared at it, dumbfounded, for almost five minutes before my brain could fully process it. it took me another few minutes to get that brain-to-mouth connection to work again so i could tell my wife.

-- Tom

LM Preston said...

Oh you hit all of these - yep I've been there.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

The craziest thing is writers put themselves through it over and over again.

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

And when you're out walking, you don't notice the scenery. You'd trapped in a thought typhoon, mentally rewriting the query. Is is summer yet? I have to stop thinking.

Anne R. Allen said...

This is so hilarious and true. I've been living like this for so many years. Three agents have had my full ms. for more than a year. Why do we take the abuse? I think we all must be insane.

Dorothy Dreyer said...

LOL, oh man, this is so me right now ... to the tenth power.

Ava Jae said...

LOL! This was awesome (as usual) and so ridiculously true...which just made it even funnier.

Thanks for the laughs and the encouragement. Querying is tough, but reading blogs posts like these makes the process a little easier. :)

erica and christy said...

LOL to #2. I thought it was just me.... Glad to know I'm not alone! Christy

Alice said...

I <3 you, let's be friends

OMG THE VERIFICATION WAS "bithes" so close and yet so far can you tell I'm hyper because I AM TOTES HYPER RIGHT NOW

Girl Friday said...

Haha so true that I just blogged about this exact thing today... in gif form :)

Ben Sloan said...

Querying is the flame which purifies for the paradise of publication. Or something like that. I'm fortunate enough to be in the composition stage at the moment. (Which has its own terrors, of course.)

Em-Musing said...

Been there...still doing that.

April said...

That's me. All 5. Right now. I'm a mess! Thanks for the reminder that it's not just me!

Leslie Rose said...

You just saved me a $15 copay by diagnosing my querybummertosis. I wonder if they'll bundle the immunity for this in the flu shot this year.

Jinx said...

Great. This will be wonderful.

So, out of curiosity, when is the best time to start querying? Is it okay to query when your book isn't done yet?

tgayer said...

Hysterically funny cos its so... accurate!
Aah *wipes tears*
think I should have this printed on 7 different tee shirts - one for each day and hope that friends and family absorb at least one sentence each time they see me...

Ishta Mercurio said...

Thank you, Tahereh. THANK YOU!

I just laughed myself right off my chair and onto the floor. And I really, really needed to do that right now.

You rock. While I wait for an agent to "get" me, you, my writing blogger-friend, definitely do.

Callie Kingston said...

Oh, I relate. Oh, yeah. And here's me blogging about how much I relate:

Glad to know I'm in such awesome company.

Cara R. Olsen said...

Oh, you make me laugh...

I'm going to book mark this page; that way when I turn into a obnoxious, self-absorbed, manic, mentally unstable person this summer, I can have the peace of mind knowing that, at least some of the symptoms will eventually go away. :P

You rock!

Cara R. Olsen
A writer's quirks and commiserations

Ken said...

This is so me.

Candie Leigh said...

I'm about three days away from sending first query out on my latest WIP ... can I start the melt down now, or should I wait?

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