Soon after the first batch of query letters were fired, my waiting game began, making me all excited and anxious at the same time. Within hours, responses started to trickle in.
As I’d initially expected, a few agents said they already had their plates full and weren’t taking any new clients at this time. Two agents requested for the full manuscript (you can only imagine how elated I must have felt instantly). Then the Christmas break kicked in, and my inbox became quiet as a morgue. Not even a rejection. But I waited and waited some more. I kept checking email even during the Christmas weekend. There must be at least one agent who reads (and replies to) his/her email even in a Christmas morning, right? No. They apparently don’t. Huge surprise there…
And I waited for the weekdays, still peeking into my inbox every few hours. Funny thing about waiting—the time barely crawls when you’re waiting. Talk about the theory of relativity in full action. Though I knew impatience was a bad idea, I couldn’t help it. Then one day, my wish for a new email was granted: A firm rejection (I’m not the right agent for this project…).
As I prepare to send out the second round of query letters (about ten of them), I’ve come to realize that the process of querying literary agents is so similar to fishing: You get all hyped up about the whole process, try to prepare as flawlessly as you can, go to the lake, bait your hook, do some research and find out where the fish might be, throw your hook, wait for the fish to nibble on your bait, move your bait around impatiently, pull it out and check the bait, tweak it a bit here and there, throw it into the lake again, and wait and wait some more.