Saturday, July 26, 2008

Query Hell: Good For The Soul

I sucked it up yesterday and posted my query in the Show Your Work [and thus get feedback] Thread over at AW. (If you've missed the link for AW in past posts, you can find it listed in Important Sites over yonder. -->) The concept of putting yourself out there for constructive criticism like this is lovingly referred to around the boards as Query Hell. A lot of members who offer suggestions for improvements don't sugar coat them. They can, sometimes, rip your stuff to shreds. And then they tell you how to make it better.

So since yesterday, and because of the feedback I've gotten, I've made amazing improvements to my query. Comments are still coming in, so likely I'll continue tweaking, but I'm very pleased with my results. I'm eager to send out the next batch and see if it gains any interest!

One thing I've realized through this process is that I won't agree with everyone's critique. Some are right on, giving me tips for things I'd never thought about. They really know their stuff - they've been through it themselves - and sincerely strive to help make another's query better. Other times, what's suggested doesn't seem quite right. This is why I have to weigh my options, and pick and choose those of the suggestions that work best for me, for my voice.

But wow, what a learning experience! It's thickening my skin (which can only help with all those rejections, really) and helping me learn to think in new ways, about how to get my points across better (it's been my habit with this query to use passive statements), and make it all come together smoothly.

Here's hoping it makes a difference!

PS. If you're checking out my blog for the first time, and you're not familiar with what a query is, see this previous post for an explanation. And thanks for stopping by!

9 comments:

Joshua said...

Not agreeing with everyone is a Leadbetter thing. If we did things the old way like grandma and grandpa Leadbetter did things, you'd submit your query in person with a shotgun. I secong thought, things are better lol :)

Janna Qualman said...

A shotgun? Hmm...






I'm joking!

Joshua said...

yeah, its hard to explain. When i lost her years ago, the only hope I had was one day getting a second chance to make up for things. Last year she said that would never happen. Ever since them shes the only one in my mind and heart. I think maybe my head is trying to tell me its over, but i guess just can't except that. Shes only person I wanna spend the rest of my life with, and thats probably never gonna happen. sigh

WendyCinNYC said...

I'm glad you are getting some good comments. The people who post regularly in that forum seem to really know their stuff.

Hopefully this new bait will catch you some fish.

Jen said...

Sorry about the query hell, Janna. Not a fun gauntlet to run, much like the rest of AW's SYW forums, but so worth the pain.

Good luck with the new round of queries!

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I think you've run the Query Hell gauntlet very well. You've had some really good suggestions from people who know their stuff (like you said) and not too many you need to disregard. ;)

You've definitely given me more confidence to post mine there when the time comes!

Joshua said...

lol, thanks cuz

Janna Qualman said...

Thanks Wendy, Jen and Melanie. I appreciate your good thoughts. I've revised it even more, and I feel really, really good about it!

Janet said...

I've got a lot of catching up to do around here, but I'll try to check it out. If you send me a PM in AW with the link, I won't be able to plead forgetfulness. ;o)