Friday, July 01, 2005

Anal-retentive, anyone?

When I was in fifth, eighth, or eleventh grade, I always threw the adults who asked me, "So what is your favorite subject in school?" I would say "English and Math". This would usually stop them in their tracks with a wrinkled brow, school teachers included. All my friends, they either liked reading or they liked math, but they definitely, no way, uh-uh, liked both.

I pursued the math side of my brain for decades, due to my basically materialistic nature. I believed a career in business would better suit my tastes in blue jeans and my desire for exotic vacations. Why do they let eighteen-year-olds pick their own majors anyway? I worked in banking for years, in the computer department, and then I quit work to stay at home with my young children.

I returned to different part-time jobs and full-time employment over the years to help keep my family to a reasonable level of debt, but figured out soon after my first son was born, that the reading/writing side of my brain brings me more pleasure than the number-crunching side of my brain. Why-oh-why didn't I figure that out back in college, so I could conveniently take courses in narrative or plot development?

Alas, now that I spend as much time as possible creating my fictional world on paper, I still dally in the number-crunching that satisfies a certain itch of mine. And, I'm posting my current statistics here, not to bring on your pity, no, but for those fellow writers out there who just want some accurate data on what other aspiring authors are up to, in their quest for publication. If I occasionally update these stats, I will not give such a long-winded explanation, but will simply post with an asterisk to 'See Anal-Rententive'.

Peace to all,
Current State of Toni's querying efforts:
Number of queries to date 132
Number of Equeries 41
number of snail mail queries 91
Number of Positive Responses 7
Number of Declines 51
Number of Non-Responsives 74
Average days to respond 10.2
Percent acceptances 12%
Number of partials outstanding 3


  1. Hi Toni: Wow, this is what I have to look forward to? Sending out this stuff by the gazillions and sitting and waiting for responses? The idea of a query scares me. Hey, 12% seems very good to my inexperienced brain. One foot in front of the other. That is a lot of queries you sent out. Curious, were the responses, good or bad, from snail mail or email? You need data for that, Miss Math. :-)

    Oh, and the math thing, I am one or the other. You are unique in liking both. I was always the artsy fartsy who did very well in math, but I found it too cold and technical. Of course, I thought I was in Fame, so that could account for the not liking math.

    Hey, it accepts anonymous comments and such. No forms to fill out. Way cool!!! Dawn

  2. Dawn,
    Are you saying how many of the positive responses are from email vs snail mail? I'd say six of the seven are from email, one is from snail mail. I think that'd be accurate. The stats are a little misleading, because I've sent out about 50 of those 74 'non-responses' in the last couple of weeks/days. I don't give up on them until at least 8 weeks has passed. The email queries I tend to get a yes or no within a day or two, whereas the paper queries go on forever.

    It isn't fun, but it is somewhat easier at times than revising or writing. It doesn't require as much concentration. I can pop out four queries and post them and feel I've accomplished something when the writing isn't going to happen.