A different kind of turkey


Imagine, if you will, that you're at a bowling alley.

You think you're a pretty good bowler, but the strikes are evading you.

At first, you don't think much of it. At least you're knocking the pins down, getting that occasional spare once in a while, right? You'll just try harder when your next turn comes around.

Now imagine that each set of bowling pins stands for something -- in my case, they'll stand for a query -- but they could be a job you're applying for, something you've been striving to do in your life, whatever.

You keep rolling the ball, trying to knock down the pins, attempting to get somewhere with those queries/job applications/et cetera. But those darn strikes... they refuse to materialize.

Now, disappointment starts to settle in. Within a short matter of time, that feeling goes from being a thin, hardly noticeable vapor of frustration, to the heaviest fog EVER.

But here's the thing.

Does the bowler attempt that first strike, use his second chance to do it again, then say, "Forget this, I quit" and walk out of the bowling alley?


How about after a few frames? Does he quit then?

Not at all.

The game isn't over until ten frames have been played -- that's twenty chances to knock the pins over. So if each set of pins is a query, that's a decent amount of opportunities!

Maybe you knock down a few pins, but the results aren't what you were hoping for. One pin gets knocked down -- one response after carefully analyzing the "perfect" way to throw the ball. It's not a bite, not a positive reaction as you'd hoped, just a reaction.

Time for another frame.

And if none fall down, or they do, but they aren't what you're looking for (rejections, someone else hired for that position, et cetera), you do another one.

And another.

And another.

And... another.

You keep practicing, sending that bowling ball in the direction it needs to go.

And eventually, though it may not be as soon as you want, you'll get that strike -- that request, that job offer. Heck, you may even get more than one. Maybe you'll get three. A query turkey, so to speak.

**For a much better query analogy, check out Amy's post, In Which I Compare Querying to Toothpaste.


Sierra Godfrey said...

This might be one the very best query analogues I've ever seen! Nice job reminding us to keep going :)

Bethany said...

I love it! Sometimes it takes a few frames to get warmed up. And hell, sometimes it takes multiple games before you end up with the kind of round you were wanting.

It takes a lot of perseverance to write a novel. It takes even more to get to publishing.

Good luck to you, always!

Melissa Hurst said...

This is so true. I haven't queried yet, but two of my CPs have started and every rejection is painful, but they're still sending the queries out there. It really helps to have a cheering section as you go:)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm a guaranteed gutter-ball at least twice kind of bowler - if I gave up when I didn't get a strike, I'd never play!

beck nicholas said...

Loved this. If you can make me smile when thinking about querying (cue churning gut at the word) you've done awesome!

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Sierra - Glad you liked it! The more gentle pushes in the right direction, the better, right? =)

Bethany - You are completely right. And good luck to you, too!

Melissa - The cheering section (or anything cheery, for that matter) is one of the main things that keeps us from throwing in the towel, I think. If we all felt alone throughout the entire process it would be hard to keep trying!

L. Diane - Perfect mindset, and your multiple books are proof of that!

Beck - Well perfect. I aim to please. Now STAY AWAY FROM THOSE FINGERNAILS! (Ha.)