My latest manuscript is almost ready to query. Yay! Next to shopping for swimsuits, there's nothing I enjoy more. But...I've been accepted to law school and plan to start this fall. I have four kids still in elementary and middle school. I fret, as writers always do.
What if I am fortunate enough to find an agent who loves the manuscript as much as I do? What if he/she thinks it needs more revision than I have time for? Will he/she wait until I do? It might be a year or more. Or should I even bother sending out queries right now when I've got this other endeavor looming on the horizon and threatening to take over my whole life?
What would you advise?
You know yourself better than I do (at least I hope you do!)
My plan would be to focus on law school right now.
You don't know how much time it's going to take to keep up with your classes and the assigned reading yet.
And your kids are going to need some attention unless they're the kind you can hang in the closet till Christmas vacation when you need them again to be cookie bakers and tasters. (My friends who are parents have horrifying tales of children who expect to eat at least three times a day! And want to talk to them! It's the stuff of nightmares.)
On the other hand maybe you're one of those people who can do three things well at the same time. Certainly there are examples of people who write novels while in some form of graduate school (medical school, law school, clown school)
As to the actual question: I put manuscripts/projects on hold for people regularly. I'm happy to wait, BUT generally it's about a year. You're undertaking a three year law school adventure. Then you're going to study for the bar.
Even if you've got a manuscript that requires NO revision, you do need to be available through the editing and production process. Copy edits generally have a very firm two week turn around deadline.
And this doesn't begin to address the problem of promotion. Promoting a novel is a long term process but it requires regular (as in daily) effort. Will you have the time to do that? You don't know yet.
And there's another thing you don't know about yet: your legal writing class. I have no idea if you can write a novel while also trying to master the art of writing a legal brief. And you don't either.
I suggest waiting to query until you have a better sense of what kind of time law school requires, and more important, how much of your brain space it needs.
The really good news is there are a lot of people who went to law school who ended up writing some pretty terrific books later.