Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Writer's Resolution

I'm back! And, boy, did I miss you all. Two or three times in the last three weeks, I read an article or heard a news piece and wanted to run into my study and write about it. Twice I actually powered up my computer before I caught myself.

It was really interesting. Blogging has become so much a part of my life that I actually had symptoms of withdrawal.

So, what's been going on? With the help of my wonderful critique partners, I managed to get my manuscript off to Tracy, my editor
--three days late, but turned in. I was so sick of that manuscript by the time I turned it in, I figured I wouldn't write for the rest of the month. But, the funny thing was, I immediately sat down and started work on the sequel.

Hope your holidays were wonderful. Except for writing, I was pretty much a slug. Read the new Greg Iles thriller and am currently re-reading an old Lee Child thriller. I did manage to gather up a huge stack of books and take them back to the used bookstore for credit. I now have over $1,000 in credit! Told a friend I was leaving her my credit in my will.

One of the times I wanted to blog was after reading Kristen Nelson's post of December 14th. She gave a bunch of statistics about her literary agency. The one that blew me away was this:

20,800 (Estimated number of queries read and responded to in 2006)

54 (Number of full manuscripts requested and read)

8 (Number of new clients taken on this year)

Another way of saying this is that (with two week's vacation a year), she reads 416 queries a week or 59 queries a day (every day of the week) in order to find one client about every six weeks. Think about it. She had to read nearly 21,000 queries in order to find eight new clients. And then we hear writers complaining because they had to send out several dozen query letters to find an agent.

Kind of puts the whole thing into perspective, doesn't it? That means that Kristen reads 99.9% of all queries she receives without ever making an offer of representation.

If you're a writer making your New Year's resolutions this week, resolve to come up with a plot line (or twist) that is truly unique, really different, not the same old/same old in the coming year. If you don't know what I'm talking about, get yourself over to
Miss Snark this week. She's busy reading some 600 plus query hooks. I got bored after reading about thirty of them. Everything seemed so familiar, so been there, done that.

I've got a glimmer of a plot line that I think is different--whether I can pull it off is something else entirely. We'll have to see.

Be back tomorrow.

1 comment:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Congrats on getting the manuscript off!! And on starting something new, too.

You were missed around here...

And yeah, those stats from Kristin are staggering, aren't they? Wow.