Guest post by Kiersten White
Stage One: Denial
This can’t be happening to me! Novel is so good! I was supposed to get an agent within days of sending out that first query! There must be some sort of mistake–it’s already been three weeks. Sure, everyone else has to go through a long, drawn-out querying process, but not me! There’s going to be a request for a full in my inbox RIGHT NOW, I just know it.
Stage Two: Anger
What?!? [Insert Author Name Here] got an agent on her first try! And my book is at least as good as hers! And WHY won’t anyone get back to me? I personalized and everything! Don’t they understand I’m checking my email every twenty minutes? I HATE THIS! QUERYING IS THE WORST THING EVER! JUST READ MY FREAKING BOOK ALREADY!
Stage Three: Bargaining
Okay. It’s okay. If I can just get a request for a full, if an agent will just read the whole thing, I’ll be happy. No matter what, I’ll be happy then.
No? A partial. Just read a partial, I swear then I’ll be happy, I won’t complain or freak out or want to give up. Just a partial?
No? Just respond. Anything. Just respond, and I’ll be okay, really, I promise. Just a response? Please?
Stage Four: Depression
It’s been three weeks. This is it. No one is going to want Novel. They’ll never read it, so they’ll never know how much fun it is, how well-written it is, how much potential I have as a writer. I’ll never get an agent, which means I’ll never get published, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I suck. I suck, I suck, I suck I suck I suck. And the worst part is that I don’t suck, but it doesn’t matter, because no one will ever know. I’m never going to be an author. It’s over. I’m going to bed. And I’m not getting up again.
Stage Five: Acceptance
Well, it is what it is. I’ve put in the work, I’ll keep at it, and I know I’ll be published someday. Maybe an agent will fall in love with Novel. Maybe not. It’s more luck than anything else at this point, and I can accept that. Either way, I’ll keep writing, and someday, someone will represent me. In the meantime, I’ve got this shiny new idea over here just begging to be written…
Of course, eventually you will make it out of this cycle. But that leads us to the stages of agented submission grief and there’s like 87 of them. One step at a time, right?