Okay, this is probably going to be more like a rant, so be forewarned.
Yeah, I'll admit it, I'm still ticked off by the whole thing that went down with the query critique. I keep reading the comments left by others and my blood is basically staying at a low simmer all the time now. I've never had a critique get under my skin like this. In fact, I've grown quite a thick skin about my writing from doing this for so long. Publishing isn't a place for the thin-skinned, which is a lesson that comes hard and fast to anyone seeking publication. I've seen my share of frustrating, less than flattering critiques/rejections. But this one, this one hurt. I've been trying to decipher why, and basically this is what I've come up with:
I'm not a brave person. It takes a LOT for me to stick my neck out and share something like my query (or anything, for that matter) in something as public as an agent's blog. The only reason I even entertained the idea is because I really respect said agent's other query critiques. She's always been kind and honest, in a way that doesn't come across as snarky. I'm one of those people who doesn't give high marks for snark--it's not a talent, it's a fallback for people who are not creative enough to be honest in constructive, kind manner (one of the reasons why I hate Dr. Laura, but that's neither here nor there). The community of followers on her blog also seem to take this into consideration, and the other queries that have been dissected on her blog have all been done in a manner that I found helpful and supportive. So, when the call went out for people to volunteer their queries, I thought it was a situation I might be brave enough to handle. And then, when the critique was posted, my heart sank. I mean, yeah, I know the query needed work (why else would I send it? It's been making me nuts!), but it would have been much more suited to other venues where I don't fit in. That's fine. I can take what I can from the critique and move on.
The comments on the entry, however, are another matter. Why is it that suddenly it is okay to blast someone with snarky, less than kind comments? Do people not realize that I am reading them, not particularly enjoying being the butt of their jokes? I do not understand this, nor do I understand why I seem to be singled out for this. What gives? Yeah, my query wasn't great, but I've read much worse--in the same blog segment! UGH. I just don't get it, and I can't say anything because it would be trite of me. That certainly hasn't stopped me from wishing I could. Obviously, I have a lot to say on the matter!
In all, I've spent a lot of this evening staring at a blinking cursor, trying to work on my query for the hundredth time. I should be writing. I should be enjoying my limited hubby/distraction-free time. Instead, I'm upset and feeling incredibly stupid. This is one of those lessons I really didn't want to learn this way, but I will most certainly never volunteer for this kind of thing again.