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Procrastinating Over a Query Letter

November 5, 2007 3 comments

A couple days ago, I sat down at my computer to write a query letter for an article idea I had just thought of. The words flowed from my fingers and onto the computer screen… I was happy. Once I finished the query letter, I closed Microsoft Word to let it sit for two days; I treat my query letters as I do my articles: I let them sit for a couple days and go back to edit them with a fresh set of eyes.

As my query letter was sitting, I logged into my account with Writers Market and began my search for potential markets. When I found a market, I opened the query letter back up to add the market's name and information at the bottom of the query letter. I did this with each potential market I came across for that article.

Two days had passed so I opened up the query letter to begin the editing process. I made a few changes here and there, then I just sat for a moment and stared at it. I pondered on whether to send it to the first highest paying market on my list but soon decided not to. Yes, this is where the procrastinating over the query letter officially begun. I kept telling myself, "Maybe you could do better. It just doesn't sound convincing enough. Okay, just close it and let it sit one more day then decide." And that's just what I did… I closed it to sit another day. I hope that tomorrow I'll be more satisfied and ready to submit it to Writer's Digest. I know one thing, though, I have to stop procrastinating or the darn thing will never go anywhere.

Have you ever found yourself procrastinating over a query letter? If so, what did you do about it? Did you make one last edit, send it and hope it was convincing enough to make the sell?

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3 comments: to “ Procrastinating Over a Query Letter so far...

  • Michele 12:27 AM CST

    Good luck with Writers Digest, Misti!

    Yes, I've procrastinated with query letters. I just write them the best I can. I let them sit for a day or two. Polish with a fresh eye, then just say a prayer and hit send. I do the same with completed manuscripts.

    If we feel we've done our best, that's all we can do, isn't it? We always hope our words are convincing enough to make a sale, don't we? It's what we writers do.

    I've recently had two queries accepted. Two out of two isn't bad. I pray you do the same!

    Best wishes, Misti!

    Writing the Cyber Highway

  • Jerry Allen 11:41 PM CST

    Not on query letters, because I havent sent any...yet. But, i am the worlds worst procrastinator. I will let stuff sit and sit until I end up missing out on something or worse. I know for a fact, as much as I agonize over my writing, that I will put off sending any queries at all for the longest time.

    I do feel your pain, Misti! SEND IT, will ya? Dont think, just hit send!

  • Misti Sandefur, Novelist/Freelance Writer 12:11 AM CST


    Actually, I've had more than two queries accepted, and I even had the editor from Wow! Women on Writing comment on the query I sent to her. In fact, she recently used that query in a feature she did on query letters as an example of a good query. But despite all of that, I sill have doubts before hitting the send button. ;)


    Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you come back again. I revised my query one last time yesterday and hit the send button. So now I hope the editor at Writer's Digest is seriously considering asking for the article. And like Michele, I prayed before I hit "Send" -- as I always do. :)

    Although, Jerry, I do encourage you to send your queries. You'll never know if you don't send 'em. ;) However, if you're really worried about them and don't mind criticism, I'd be happy to give you feedback if you want to send one to me. I'm always willing to help other writers. My e-mail is info at mistisandefur dot com