For all of you non-writer folk out there, the “Query Trenches” is this: the agonizing emotional, mental, and physical whirlwind a writer jumps into of his/her own free will in order to get a literary agent for his/her manuscript.

This ain’t easy people.

It’s gut-wrenching, time-consuming, exhausting, and terrifying. The manuscript we’re requesting representation for is our baby, our labor of love, birthed into the world through sweat, blood, sickness, joy, and tears. Blood? Yes—washing glasses while your mind is editing the last chapter you just wrote results in a trip to the emergency room for stitches. Trust me.

To receive a letter of rejection is crushing, and is often followed by plaguing doubts and a day of depressed bed-rest. A request to read sample pages has us running around biting our nails and screaming. Our families talk about us behind our backs, wondering if they should commit us, and our fellow employees think we’re hosts for demented aliens.

But, there is a light in the trenches if we look for it, and it shines so bright I’m humbled by it. Support, encouragement, and an overwhelming amount of generosity are all there for the asking. Writers—those in the trenches with us, or who were there before us—agents, interns, editors, all offer us their time, guidance, and advice, without expecting anything in return. Except courtesy. And this is the gist of my post. Reading through Twitter, I’m shocked at how often writers send scathing, often hateful replies to agents who’ve passed on their manuscript, belittle other authors for self-publishing, or rage at another author’s success.


I can only conclude that these people are party poopers. I, for one, am going to enjoy myself in the trenches. I’ve met some pretty fantastic people. I’ve been invited by talented writers to join their blogs, read other writers’ manuscripts, and garnered some amazing CPs. I’ve suffered the heartache of rejection and the thrill of requests, and those I now call my friends have been there for me. I’ve celebrated when these friends received a book deal, landed an agent, self-published their book—this is damn hard, btw—or won a contest. This industry is hard enough as it is, for everyone involved, so, to all the haters in the trenches—This is a party, not a boxing match! We don’t need you bashing on the guests, okay? It makes the rest of us look bad. If you need more incentive to behave, go here to read about patience, and here to find something to do while you wait.

Now that I’ve ranted, it’s time to partaaay!

I think we need a water park up in here—who’s with me?


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