Natural Disasters and How They Affect Your Writing

Writer’s are basically selfish people (and I’m speaking from experience here). We want the world handed to us. Right now. This is doubly true in the querying process. We send out letters or emails and want the reply instantly. Positive of course. Then when it comes back negative, or not at all, we start to doubt, picking at the scabbed over flaws we’ve built into our writing lives: the query wasn’t good enough; they hated my story; I’m not a good writer.

Whoa there fellas, lets step back and take a look at the world for a moment. If you’re querying right now, think about who you’re shooting all these emails of to? Agents or editors who live or do business with New York. Normally that’s the city that doesn’t sleep, but when Sandy came along, it threw the whole town for a loop. I’ve heard of editors and agent’s email servers down for two weeks.

Yes, that means they’re up by now. But don’t leap to query. Consider the lack of progress for two weeks. Whatever projects these literary types were working on, they’re now two weeks behind. Never mind if the agent you query lives outside of New York. I guarantee that he or she has at least one project with a New York editor.

What does this mean for aspiring authors? Well, you could submit your query now and have it fight for attention with paying projects that are behind deadline, along with Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Agents will either scoot your query to a back burner, or they’ll rush to judgement simply to clear out the email queue.

The best solution is to wait. I know that’s a four letter word with us writers. We don’t like waiting. But the truth is your manuscript will fare a better chance in 2013 when things have settled back to their typical frantic pace.

In the words of the great Inigo Montoya, “I hate waiting.”

Tim Kane