Querying is the next step. The step where you take your little baby manuscript that you've kept so sheltered, and send out it's college applications. You hope that someone will like it, that someone will take it under their wing and see the potential in your brilliant piece of work. You think that it doesn't have to be 100%, nothings perfect. You just want someone to recognize you for actually finishing a book and see all the potential you have to offer. Certainly an agent will give you the chance, right?
Now, from my observations, I think everyone falls victim to querying to soon. To querying before the novel is at it's absolute best. But, I think teens especially fall victim to this. It's shocking how many InkPoppers and teen writers I've met who've told me they queried, and even asked me myself.... and I'm like "whoa, no."
I know, I know, whenever you ask an agent they always say "It's about the writing, not the age." But the thing is, your age influences the writing. I'm fifteen, and I know that five years down the road my writing is going to be so much stronger than it is now. Heck, looking at my MS for DTL from 2 years ago compared to the one I'm working on now is such a drastic difference. You can't write your best work at 15, 16, 17.
And the thing about being a teen writer is, what's the rush? We're already a bit a head of the game for knowing what we want so young. And it's okay to write things that will never be published. As teenagers, it's our job to learn as much as we can before we can even thing about taking that next step.
Much of this can be said for adults too, but I'm just looking at it from a teen perspective here.
When I saw this video with Maureen Johnson, I was like OMG THIS VIDEO. Because it's so true. I have to share.