The other day I needed to clean out a Pendaflex folder so I could sort my spreadsheet work into it. (Why buy a new one when you have old ones you aren't using?) In the folder were query materials. Pages and pages of printouts from back when I was querying that I'd stuff into a folder to try and keep track of it all.
Queries sent, responses... err, rejections, agents to query, publishers to submit to and the results of those efforts. In that folder alone were probably 150-200 pieces of paper. And that's only one small portion of the things I submitted. I can't even begin to imagine how many pages would be there if I kept everything and stacked it all in one pile. Reams worth.
None of which did me any damn good. Ten years worth of effort. Ten... years. 2004-2014.
All the hours I spent researching agents to make sure they were what I wanted and I had what they wanted and that I was meeting all their various requirements for submission. The various versions of query letters typed and edited and worried over. So much time.
I don't even want to try to do the math on how much time I spent just on the querying/submitting stuff. Thinking about it makes me want to weep because all of it was wasted. (Let's not even talk about the money wasted on stamps, envelopes and paper for outgoing hardcopy queries and for SASEs which always contained rejection letters.)
Ten years and countless dollars wasted.
But I need to remember it. Every time I get down about the lack of sales, I need to remember the ten years of no sales and no chance at any sales because the door to traditional publishing was being slammed in my face. Every morning when I don't feel like posting another damn marketing thing to one more FB group, I need to remember that I am getting sales from those efforts as opposed to the monumental wasted effort I was putting out before to gain no sales whatsoever.
So, maybe I shouldn't shred this pile of queries and rejections.
ROFL... right. Those suckers are toast. It'll be another wasted effort, but it'll be one I'll enjoy. ;o)