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5 Things I've Learned About Waiting to Hear Back from an Agent

Patience may be a virtue, but it's not my strong suit. Six months have now passed since I sent in a query, received a request for a partial, and am, you guessed it, still waiting to hear something.

During this agonizing wait, I've learned a few things I'd like to share:

Twitter is just Twitter.

I'm fairly new to Twitter, yet found myself obsessing over this agent's Twitter feed, checking it multiple times a day hoping to glean anything, even the slightest crumb, about the status of my MS, the status of her MS reviews, or anything remotely related to my MS and when she would reach it. But guess what? I've learned nothing about that, and instead, have learned what she likes to eat and read; the movies she's seen; the sports teams she follows; and the type of coffee she drinks. At one point, she tweeted she'd gotten through her inbox. When I sent a polite nudge, she told me she was still working on her inbox. Bottom line? Don't waste your time obsessing. When the agent is ready to communicate with you (if you are lucky), he or she will do just that.

Keep Querying.

I solicited feedback on a website for writers asking what I should do about the outstanding request for a partial. The answers were positive and encouraging, but most who responded asked why I'd bother continuing to query. Plan B, baby! I hope I don't need it, but will thank myself if the worst case result is another request for a full or partial.

Keep Writing.

This is a tough one. I have five new book ideas, excluding the sequel I have planned for my first novel, and can't decide which one to pursue. The result? I work on whatever calls to me at the time I sit down to write. Crazy? Yes. But not as crazy as thinking an agent will tweet about the status of my MS.

Don't Expect People to Understand.

"Seriously? You've been waiting that long to hear back? What's wrong with that agent? How long does it take to read a few chapters?" Great questions, but as I understand it, this is how it works, like it or not.

Find Humor in the Process.

I have a very serious day job. Between that and my (hopefully) budding writing career, I couldn't survive without humor. Take today, for instance. I've resisted stalking the agent, and instead, have spent far too much time thinking about songs that feature a refrain that includes the word, "waiting."

"The waiting is the hardest part" is the best one I can think of right now. Thanks, Tom Petty. Next best, "I've been waiting, for an agent like you, to come into my life." I've got lots more, and may share those in a different post.

Bottom line: when all else fails, consult your Magic 8 ball. If you don't like the answer, shake it again!