Another week. Another long spate of a quiet inbox. And I’ve never been busier in my writing life than I am right now.
It’s easy to get discouraged when things are slow on the query front. Maybe you are getting skipped in the inbox. Maybe the agent closed to queries to catch up in June, and you queried right before then, so you know it’s going to be August before you hear anything. Maybe your friends are getting requests, rep, or rejections and you start poking your inbox to make sure it isn’t broken. It feels like you’ve hit the doldrums and you’ll never get out.
Summer is like that in the garden, too. My life has become getting up earlier than usual because it’s already 80F at 8 AM, pulling on rubber boots (against ticks, mosquitoes, and bumblebees up my shorts), and heading out into the garden with the hose. It’s mind-numbing. Except when a bee goes up my shorts. Then it’s very exciting for a minute or two. But mostly it’s moving from one plant to the next, counting out how long the hose has to run to supply the two gallons a day that my tomato plants are demanding in this heat. But you know what all that watering is doing? It’s taking my mind off other concerns. It’s necessary work, and leaves me no time to fret about anything else.
That’s what being busy during query season does for me. I’m revising my next project and drafting two more. I’m not paying attention to where I am in someone else’s inbox. They’ll get to me when they get to me. I’ve got my own garden to take care of.
If you are feeling the strain of listening to the inbox crickets, and you aren’t working on another project, may I suggest some “watering”? Writer In Motion is coming up. Try some flash fiction. Not got another novel in development? What about some craft book exercises or writing prompts? Too stressed to write? What about offering up some positivity passes for other writers? How about a Beta read for a friend? Find something to do in your writing garden and see if it helps.