So when should you stop querying?

According to this article in today’s Ottawa Citizen , failing at something can affect your health. At what point should you give up? It suggests when the goal is not achievable.

“It’s actually possible that quitting can be associated with better well-being, better biological processes and better physical health,” the story quotes an expert as explaining. “But only if you can’t reach the goal.”

Now this makes me think about querying and how many people repeatedly bang their heads up against agency walls, trying to get representation, or at least feedback. These days, it’s not unusual for someone to query dozens and dozens of times, maybe even hundreds, in their search for an agent.

It was certainly one of the most frustrating processes I’ve ever gone through — nothing like a daily dose of rejection to bring you down. But there was a point where I realized that it was actually time to give up and try a different route (in my case, a few literary competitions). Once I gave up on querying,  I found an agent, and as most of you know, I will soon be published by Penguin Canada with foreign rights held by some top-notch foreign publishers.

When should you quit?

I think it’s completely individual. But maybe think about it if your health or home-life is suffering from failed efforts. Consider it if you’re feeling bitter: no point turning your own immune system into an enemy. The querying process is out of your control when it comes to the responses you get, but you can control whether to engage in it or not. If it’s making you unwell, it’s not worth it.

As W.C. Fields is quoted as saying in this article,”If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” Right?


 Check out Penguin Canada’s book trailer for The Beggar’s Opera  here! It’s pretty cool!

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