What’s that sound me me panicking? Thoughts about querying

I had a conversation with a friend the Thursday night.  Since I’m planning on posting a review of one of her books soon, I asked her for the media kit.  Her response was thanks.  Then she offered, “When you get ready this summer, I’ll help you with your query letter.”

I read that sentence and froze, panic bubbling up my throat.  No, I couldn’t be ready his sumer to query.  I’m no where near ready to query.  Even now when I’m typing, I hear a frantic voice in the back of my head chanting ‘no, no, no, not ready!’  I see so much wrong in my novel that it’s not ready to see the light of day by someone who pays for books to publish.

Yes, I am rewriting substantial chunks of it to fix errors.   I am polishing away at it constantly.  I find ideas that I have clear in my head which are muddy on the page.  But for each paragraph I fix, I see four more pop up that need attention.  I feel like I’m playing Whack-A-Mole with an infinite number of moles.

These are just the problems I see.  I know there are more lurking on the pages, invisible to me.   But I want to see them, want to weed them out, want to hand in a manuscript that is absolutely perfect.

Realistic?  Of course not.  Will I try to get as close as I can to that ideal?  Yes.  Will I achieve it?  Hell no!  Will I ever feel the story is truly ready?  Probably not.

Then there is my fear of rejection.  Oddly enough I can go on stage in a masquerade without fear of rejection.  The thought of querying an agent or a publisher leaves me cold.  I know that rejection is part and parcel of being a writer.  I know that my plan leaves open the option of self-publishing.  The only reason I’m not jumping right away to self-publishing is that there will always be a little voice in the back of my head wondering ‘what if’ unless I attempt to query.  I also know that there will be rejections.  There will always be rejections.

But if I let my fear of rejection keep me from querying, I will never be accepted.  So I need to take a deep breath, screw my courage to the sticking-place, and let go of my manuscript.

After at least another two passes.

About Sheryl R. Hayes

Author. Knitter. Costumer.

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