It’s been almost three months since I sent out my last query letter to agents. Initially, it was to sit back and reevaluate my submission materials. The query letter was the first victim. Synopsis, the second. Several eyes passed through them, and I felt pretty confident in their quality. The timing was good, too, because there were several contests coming up in April.
As #RevPit (a contest where you have a chance to work with an editor) approached, I started questioning my manuscript—one that had already gone through eleven versions. I took a leap and aged my main character up from fourteen to fifteen. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly. On one hand, she’s immature for her age—aging her up will make it worse. On the other hand, she tackles some pretty heavy issues that aren’t suitable for younger audiences. The latter ultimately won out.
I decided to wait to query again until I knew the results of #RevPit and #WriterMentor (a mentorship program with a repped author). The end of April came with no word from either contest. Not even a single request for pages. It was a low point. But the day after #WriterMentor announced the winners, one of the mentors reached out to me with some feedback. It was the glimmer of hope I needed to keep going.
Some non-writing items took precedence for a couple of weeks, but I returned to the writing scene in mid-May. Once again, I rewrote my letter and passed it through some eyes, including one of the #RevPit editors via their specials. I’m confident it’s strong. Better than strong, actually. But I’ve done nothing but sit on it the past week. Why? Simple answer: fear.
I know it’s irrational, but it’s the truth. I’m scared to get back in the querying game. Is it because I’ve been away from it for so long? Maybe. Do I doubt myself? Definitely. Am I a good writer? 100%.
That last answer surprised you a bit, didn’t it? How can I doubt myself if I know I’m a good writer? I don’t know, but I do. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. A good friend always says that querying is a numbers game—you’ve got to go through a bunch of “no’s” to get that one “yes.” She’s right. I just need to psych myself up for it.
If I’m being honest, I doubt it’ll happen today or even tomorrow. But I need to get ready because come hell or high water, I’m sending out some queries this coming Monday (somebody please catch me!). If you’re in a similar situation, I encourage you to pick a restart date and act on it. It’s so easy to let the fear win, but if we do, our dreams won’t.
‘Til next time!
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